Highways England A63 cycle ban labelled “ludicrous” by Cycling UK

Image from Google maps for A63 cycle ban
The proposed ban would cover this area. Photo: GoogleMaps
Highways England’s proposal to ban cycling from parts of the A63 is “entirely unreasonable and lacks both evidence and analysis” says national cycling charity, Cycling UK.
  • Charity says A63 cycle ban shows inadequate assessment of risk and safety
  • Ban runs contrary to Government and Highways England policies
  • Proposal sets dangerous precedent for future cycling restrictions

Highways England is seeking to impose a cycling ban on a 15 mile stretch of road close to Hull on the A63 between the North Cave Interchange and the Daltry Street Interchange, citing road safety concerns.

The government company, which has responsibility for England’s motorways and major A-roads, has justified their proposal for a ban citing average traffic speeds of 65 mph and a total of six incidents involving cyclists, including a fatality in 2013 in the past five years.

Cycling UK has officially responded to the proposals, and criticised Highways England for failing to consider methods to reduce the danger, such as speed reduction and warning signs about the presence of cyclists. 

The charity believes that it is unreasonable to ban cyclists for not being able to keep up with traffic. It also sets a dangerous precedent which could open up further bans for cycling on other A and B roads, as cyclists are rarely able to keep up with motor vehicles outside of urban areas.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns said:

“Highways England’s approach to the A63 is entirely unreasonable and lacks both evidence and analysis. It’s hardly surprising cyclists can’t keep up with motor vehicles on an A-road, but it is ludicrous to use that as one of the reasons for banning them. 

“If cyclists are banned from the A63 because they’re unable to hit high speeds, then where will it stop? It’s the thin edge of the wedge and shows a complete lack of reasoning.” 

Cycling UK is also concerned Highways England has not conducted a proper risk analysis to justify the ban. No evidence was provided on the numbers of cyclists on the A63 which would allow for an injury rate to be ascertained. 

“There have been hundreds of collisions involving motor vehicles on the A63 over the last few years. Following Highways England’s rationale, that would be enough to justify banning driving as well as cycling,” said Dollimore. “Cycling UK would urge Highways England to re-consider their plans and stop going against both their own and the Government’s cycling policies.”

The proposed ban, if successful, would be in stark contrast to Highways England’s own Cycling Strategy, which sets out a “Cycling Vision” of contributing to a high-quality cycling network, suitable and safe for everyone. 

Currently Highways England have published no plans to improve cycling facilities on this stretch of the A63. Neither have they provided an impact assessment for how the ban will affect people whose journeys will be made more difficult or prevented altogether, running contrary to Department for Transport’s policy to promote wider cycle use.

Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. Details for Highways England’s proposed Traffic Regulation Order are available at: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/notice/2954064
  3. Cycling UK’s full response is available at: https://www.cyclinguk.org/sites/default/files/document/2018/02/a63_tro_response_.pdf
  4. To see the amount of collisions along this stretch of road, search for “A63” using the webtool here: http://www.crashmap.co.uk/Search
  5. See p2 of Highways England’s Cycling Strategy for their Cycling Vision: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/490545/S150572_Cycling_Strategy.pdf
  6. The Department for Transport’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/603527/cycling-walking-investment-strategy.pdf

Press contact information

For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org