Mobility and Transport

Clean transport, Urban transport

1.10 Recreational Cycle Routes

1.10 Recreational Cycle Routes

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Recreational cycle routes are attractive, scenic and most often located away from motorised traffic. They are usually designated via physical signage or by maps and can also be known as greenways and green corridors.

Considerations for applicability

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Level of cycling

Greenways can be large infrastructural undertakings and so the expected level of cycling influences the suitability and scale of a greenway. High utilisation of the route should be expected to justify the expense. 

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Urban layout/topography

Disused railways and canal paths are suitable to be repurposed into recreational cycle routes as they have shallow gradients and are often surrounded by attractive scenery.

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Scenic touring routes and routes that connect attractions can be used for touristic purposes. Local residents may use the routes for leisure and they can offer a quieter location to teach children.

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Finance Resources

The total cost will vary significantly depending on the length of the route and the type of construction required. The repurposing of disused mobility infrastructure will be cheaper than the construction of a new cycle path.

The 1.2 km green corridor in La Rochelle cost €1.2m.

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Time & Human Resources

Depending on the length of the route, greenways can require a significant amount of time and human resources to plan, construct and maintain. In particularly rural areas, frequent maintenance of adjacent hedgerows and trees may be required to keep the route operational.

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Recreational cycle routes can benefit local communities by providing all members of the population with a place to meet and socialise, run events, and exercise. They can contribute to making areas more attractive places to live in.

Note: An overview of the direct and indirect impacts resulting from correctly implemented cycling measures is available in Challenges that cities face and how cycling can address them

In-depth measure analysis, case studies and further guidance