Cycle safety the focus of new light rail guidance

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Detailed guidance on how to make tramways and similar urban transit systems as safe as possible for cyclists is now available to download from the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board’s growing online reference library.

Following extensive consultations with safety experts from across the sector, LRG19.0 – Cycle Tramway Interface Guidance been published and can be downloaded here.

Mark Ashmore, LRSSB Safety and Assurance Manager, explained: “Much of the guidance is based on experience gained from existing UK tramways and similar networks overseas.”

“We don’t intend our findings to be applied retrospectively, but owners and operators should consider them when undertaking track renewal schemes.”

Mark also pointed to the increasing use of cycles in towns and cities, emphasising the importance of safely integrating cycling for all ages and abilities as part of holistic transport schemes.

“For new tramway schemes, reserving sufficient land between cycles and tramways should be a significant design factor,” he said.

The published guidance also calls for bikes to be segregated from trams as far as practicable. However, cycle routes should still be direct, to avoid the risk of dedicated lanes not being used. Early liaison with highway authorities as well as with local cycling and active travel groups is also advised.

A key recommendation is that the cycle crossing angle should be 60 degrees – as experience shows the risk of falls due to a greasy rail head or being trapped in the groove significantly increase at lower angles.

“In fact we have tried to cover every angle regarding the safe and practical interaction of cyclists and tramways,” said Mark, “including good lighting and convenient cycle parking.

“We believe that the new guidance will be an invaluable tool in helping designers and operators to maximise good practice and minimise risks for the interaction of cyclists and tramways.”

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