Living Streets is researching issues of inclusion around 'continuous footways' and 'bus stop bypasses'.

 

The designs being used for both continuous footways and bus stop bypasses vary greatly across the UK. Design guidance also varies, and is sometimes contradictory.

This two-year research project is being funded by Transport Scotland and the Department for Transport, and will take place from May 2021 to April 2023.

As part of the project we will be working with highway authorities, pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, disabled people and the organisations that represent them, and we will ourselves inspect and observe many sites across the country.

We have created this web page to provide a public face for the project as it progresses. Scroll down for the latest news and for opportunities to get involved (as these arise).

Diagram showing different bus stop and cycle track layouts, provided as decoration for page.

Continuous footways across side road junctions are intended to provide enhanced priority and safety for people walking, wheeling and cycling. These continue the pavement ('footway') of a bigger road over the end of a smaller side road. There's sometimes an adjacent cycle track too.

Anecdotal evidence and reports from groups representing some disabled people indicate that they have real concerns about safety and accessibility. There have also been suggestions that some designs make conditions more challenging for older people or for children.

Bus stop bypasses (or ‘floating bus stops’) maintain the protection of a cycle track, for people cycling, at bus stops. These place the bus stop on an island between the road and footway, routing the cycle track between the footway and the island.

Concerns have been raised by some disabled people, and groups representing them, that these designs can be problematic. There are fears about whether the layouts allow people to safely cross the cycle traffic to move to and from the bus stop.

Diagram showing different side road junction designs

Progress news

We have already:

  • Set up a Reference Group, which includes people who can help us to check we're properly informed on issues around disability, engineering, research, local authority practice, technical guidance, cycling, bus stop bypasses, and continuous footways.  
  • Mapped the locations of over 500 UK bus stops which show differing arrangements with cycle tracks.
  • Mapped the locations of over 400 UK junctions where some attempt has been made to prioritise either crossing pedestrians or people cycling through them.
  • Completed reviews of relevant literature (including design guidance, legislation, research, informal articles, and written organisational positions) to inform our research.
  • Written three literature review documents (one on continuous footways, one on bus stop bypasses, and one on general issues around inclusion) to document this literature, and the issues and questions our literature review raises.
  • Made informal observations of behaviours and designs at many sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London, and Cardiff.

 

We are currently working on the following:

  • Working toward making our literature review documents public.
  • Planning more formal observations of existing designs (selecting sites worthy of more study).
  • Discussing the use of cameras and AI to help to analyse behaviours and designs, particularly at quieter locations.
  • Planning how best to involve a much wider group of people and organisations. 

(Updated 16 February 2022)

Getting involved

We expect there to be lots of interest in this project, and we already have questions we'd like to ask a wider group of people - however at the moment we're busy setting up some key parts of the research. If/when opportunities to get involved arise we'll describe them here.

Bus at bus stop, provided as decoration for page