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In this podcast, ICE's Adam Kirkup interviews Dr. Robin Lovelace, University of Leeds, discussing the development of the Propensity to Cycle Toolkit (PCT), and how it can be used to prioritise investments and interventions which promote cycling.
The PCT is the result of collaboration between the Universities of Cambridge, Westminster, and Leeds and was designed to assist transport planners, engineers and policy makers to answer the question: 'where is cycling currently common and where does cycling have the greatest potential to grow?'. In summary the PCT is a planning support system to improve cycling provision at many levels from regions to specific points on the road network.
The PCT can be used at different scales. First, the PCT is a strategic planning tool. Different visons of the future are represented through various scenarios of change, including the government’s draft Cycling Delivery Plan target to double cycling in a decade and the more ambitious ‘Go Dutch’ scenario, whereby cycling levels are reached in England (allowing for English hilliness and trip distances). By showing what the rate of cycling could feasibly look like in different parts of cities and regions, and illustrating the associated increase in cycle use on the road network, the PCT should inform policies that seek a wider shift towards sustainable transport.
Second, the PCT can also be used at a smaller scale. The scenario level of commuter cycling along a particular road can be used to estimate future mode share for cycling on that corridor. This can be compared with current allocation of space to different modes, and used to consider re -allocation from less sustainable modes to cater for cycling growth. In other cases, low current or potential flows may indicate a barrier, such as a major road or rail line, causing severance and lengthening trips. This could be addressed through new infrastructure such as a pedestrian and cycle bridge.
Central both to strategic and smaller-scale use is the question of where to prioritise high quality cycling infrastructure of sufficient capacity for a planned growth in cycling.
For further work on the approach, please see paper on the PCT: The Propensity to Cycle Tool: An open source online system for sustainable transport planning (Lovelace et al. 2015).