What is the Future of Cycle Routes?

Cycle & Walkways
What is the Future of Cycle Routes?
Cycling has been an extremely popular form of transport for over a century, and today hundreds of millions of people around the world travel using a bike. In the UK alone, more than 2 million people cycle at least once a week, so it is vital that the cycling infrastructure keeps up with these ever-increasing numbers.


Although being extremely beneficial for the environment and peoples health, the rise in the number of bike users (alongside the number of motorists) has seen a dramatic decrease in the safety of our cyclists. It was revealed just over a year ago that cyclists are 71 times more likely to be killed in a road accident than those using a vehicle. This is a problem that is only going to grow with the numbers of motorists and cyclists increasing rapidly, and action needs to be taken in the form of safer and more protected cycle routes in order to reduce the amount of injuries and fatalities in cycling accidents.

Over the recent years, there has been an abundance of ideas that have been thought up to improve the safety and efficiency of our roads for cyclists and motorists, 3 of which are shown in more detail below:



This relatively new idea drew inspiration from a very similar looking pedestrian bridge in Lujiazui, China. The cycle path is situated in between the localities of EindhovenVeldhoven and Meerhoven which accounts for its name, the Hovenring, and suspends from a single 70m tall central pylon by 24 cables. the Hovenring was initially designed to combat the heavy traffic caused by cyclists and motor vehicles sharing a busy roundabout.


The innovation has proven to be a massive success, with plans to construct more around the world in the near future being heard of. Not only did this design aid traffic issues, but it has created a safer and efficient crossing for cyclists and motorists.


Cycle Superhighways were announced in 2008 by then-mayor of London Ken Livingstone, as a large part of London’s plan to give cyclists safer, faster, and more direct journeys into the city. This was after it was revealed that on average 17.2 cyclists died per year. The Superhighways had demanding needs for the paint choice, as it needed to not only be anti-slip, but bright and durable, as they would be facing the over half a million London cyclists daily.


Since then they have become a lifesaver for cyclists who previously would be using roads alongside hundreds of vehicles, putting their lives at risk every day just through commuting. The introduction of cycle superhighways has seen a rise in confident cyclists, and a dip in the number of accidents occuring between vehicles and bikes. In fact, accidents are proven to be declining: figures from Cycling UK show 33 deaths out of 90m London cycle journeys in 1989, falling to nine out of 270m journeys in 2016.



Inspired by Studio Roosegaarde’s ‘Van Gough’ cycle path, a cycle path located in a park in Poland is formed of ‘glow in the dark’ particles. The material is known as phosphor, a synthetic material that is charged by sunlight and makes the path glow at night. This means that the cycle path stores energy from the sun during the day and glows at night. this provides a source of light throughout the cyclist’s journey, allowing them to safely dictate where the path goes.


Not only is this path creating a safer journey, but is eco friendly, as its glow in the dark properties allows a very minimal amount of street lighting to be installed. It also allows non-cyclists to see the path, meaning there will be a further reduced chance of pedestrians or vehicles getting involved in an accident with any cyclists.