Audit

Click on any of these links to see more detailed information about the Audit work undertaken:

Bicycle Policy Audit (BYPAD)

BYPAD logo

A BYPAD audit may be seen as the logical next step for those authorities that have taken part in the CTC benchmarking programme and wish to take their cycling activities to the next level.

The CTC process is primarily aimed at engaging with local authority professionals and often this involves only those responsible for cycling. This may be termed a ‘horizontal’ approach to reviewing programmes and performance i.e. most of those involved are at similar levels of seniority.

BYPAD is different in that it takes a ‘vertical’ approach. It achieves this by involving in the review process a range of individuals at different levels of responsibility within one authority. These include ‘decision makers’ (elected politicians), officials (a range of disciplines at a senior level) and users (groups or individuals).

Principle outcomes may be described as follows:

  • Improved political support, leadership and coordination as the result in involving members and senior staff across disciplines
  • Encourages active participation by member ‘cycle champions’ and helps give them a tangible role
  • Improved delivery of programmes as the result of embedding cycling amongst decision makers and creating ‘ownership’ at all levels and across all activities
  • Policies and action plans driven by an informed understanding of what the authority both needs to and can deliver
  • Reduced resistance, thanks to senior support, to the use of innovative techniques or ones that are simply new to the authority
  • A better understanding of ‘how things work’ across an authority (bringing with it other synergies for cycling)
  • A quality baseline audit of policies and programmes against which to measure improvements in performance

The BYPAD process is a systematic review of an authority’s cycle policy. It can be undertaken at any of the following administrative levels:

  • Town/city/London borough
  • Metropolitan area
  • County or district council
  • Region

The review is applied across nine policy areas ranging from planning to infrastructure. This process is based on quality management techniques and is well tried and tested. Its development was originally funded by the EU and to date has been employed in over 100 authorities in more than 20 countries across Europe. Even cities with high levels of cycling (>20%) such as Munster, Odense and Ferrara have seen the value of BYPAD reviews.
The need for a good (local) cycling policy to assure future bicycle use is also strongly advocated in the Dutch research document Bicycle use in practice and policy in the twentieth century1. This research proves that having a continuous long-term cycling policy which is regularly under review has a real impact on cycle use and cycle safety.

Its sound procedural nature means that BYPAD sets a robust baseline, is easily repeatable and can be readily used to measure progress over a period of time: usually two to three years. This is common in mainland Europe and is about to occur for the first time in an authority in the UK.
The review process identifies the quality of the authority’s approach to cycling in line with one of four levels as follows:

  • Level 4 Integrated approach Our cycling policy is embedded in all areas, continuous improvement is key as is working with strategic partners
  • Level 3 System orientated approach We strive to optimise cycling and work with several partners
  • Level 2 Isolated approach Robinson Crusoe principle: we do bits in isolation
  • Level 1 Ad-hoc approach We mostly engage in fire-fighting

This is achieved through those involved completing a series of questionnaires and attending meetings to establish a consensus and agree an action plan. The consensus meeting is particularly important as it explores the differing views expressed through the questionnaires. An external consult acts as a facilitator to explore the differences and to establish them at a level that everyone is happy with.

It also produces a series of scores for each of the nine policy areas. This permits the authority to be benchmarked across European authorities of a similar nature. In turn this enables the identification of new measures and approaches that can be introduced to follow the example of successful authorities. In addition to the scored review, the principal output is a ‘Cycling Quality Plan’ (action plan) which enables an authority to focus on those areas in which it can improve its performance and measure its achievements through subsequent reviews.

BYPAD Spiral of development
BYPAD “Spiral of development” for towns and cities

For more information please see www.bypad.org or contact alex.sully@transport-initiatives.com

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Cycle Environment Review System (CERS)

In general, the development of provision for cyclists has historically been infrastructure-led and based around the development of linear routes. This has led to the implementation of many sub-standard facilities which provide little or no benefit to cyclists and are unlikely to encourage new users.

In these situations it is beneficial to take a different approach which could be summed up as “routes for cyclists” as opposed to “cycle routes”. The direction of national policy supports just this approach. To address this, Transport Initiatives has developed CERS in partnership with TRL (Transport Research Laboratory). CERS is based on TRL’s well-established process for assessing walking conditions, PERS (Pedestrian Environment Review System).

CERS is a systematic process which quantifies routes using the five key criteria for good practice in cycle provision (set out in DfT Local Transport Note 2/08 “Cycle Infrastructure Design”):

  • Convenience
  • Accessibility
  • Safety
  • Comfort
  • Attractiveness

The CERS process allows the assessment and comparison of cycling conditions on routes or sections of routes. It can take into account both existing conditions and the situation following the introduction of measures to encourage cycling.

A major feature of the CERS2 process is that scores can also be shown graphically using a pentagram “radar plot”. This allows a rapid visual assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of a particular route or link.

CERS2 radar plot

Cycle Skills Network Audit (CSNA)

Ealing Cycle Map
CSNA map A3 size,produced for the West London Academy
Click to view - 1.7Mb PDF

Building up cycle networks in urban areas based on off-road facilities can be time-consuming, expensive and impractical. Focusing on cost-effective, deliverable on-road measures, combined with a flexible approach to cycle facilities, has the greatest potential to create effective networks in a realistic timescale. The existing network may already provide adequate accessibility for cycling, or could be improved by identifying and dealing with existing hazards.

The Cycle Skills Network Audit – exclusive to Transport Initiatives – rates roads, other routes and crossing points by the Bikeability (National Standard) level of competence cyclists would need to use them safely. This fully supports the development of a network that makes best use of existing infrastructure.

Download our Cycle Skills Network Audit (CSNA) flyer 2.1Mb PDF

Pedestrian Skills Network Audit

If you have commissioned a Cycle Skills Network Audit (CSNA) it costs only a little more to collect the extra data that can be used to complete a Pedestrian Skills Network Audit (PSNA). As a CSNA identifies and rates pedestrian crossings in the audit area, the only extra data to be collected in a PSNA is on the location of footpaths providing links for pedestrians that could not be converted to shared use. Displaying the data for PSNA presentation is also straightforward and easily completed at minimal extra cost.

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Cycle audits

With some notable exceptions, cycle audits have traditionally been ignored by local authorities because of the perception that they are too resource intensive. Our experience suggests that it is not so much the process that is important but the desire to ask the question, ‘what can this scheme contribute to cycling?’ This must be backed up by the auditors having a real understanding of cyclists needs in order to spot opportunities and potential problems.

Transport Initiative’s expertise in this field has lead to numerous commissions in Ireland where user audits are mandatory for any nationally funded road scheme. Audits and reviews of challenging schemes form much of the work that TI undertakes as part of its membership of the Professional Support Service provided to local authorities by Cycling England.

Cycle Parking

The provision of an adequate level of good quality cycle parking is one of the most practical measures that can be implemented to encourage cycling. However, cycle parking is often installed with little research into where the best locations might be, and with little attention to design. The use and condition of existing cycle parking is also frequently overlooked, with many racks being on a poor condition.

Transport Initiatives has carried out a number of cycle parking audits, ranging from an entire borough (London Borough of Sutton) to specific types of location (stations in Southend). We have developed a clear methodology for cycle parking audits, focusing on both existing and potential sites. The level of “fly-parking” is taken as a key indicator of suppressed demand.

Cycle Parking

Workplace Cycle Audit

Whether you are a local authority, a hospital or medical facility, educational establishment or a business, TI can put forward practical and cost-effective solutions to encourage more of your workforce to travel to work by bike.

We can visit your building, campus, or site and undertake an audit of its 'cycle friendliness'. We'll suggest improvements that can be made both quickly and in the long-term to increase the number of your staff cycling to work.

TI can suggest improvements to the information provided to your staff on your website, in internal communications, and the image you portray to the outside world. We can also advise on other measures such as the Workplace Cycle Scheme where employees can get up to 40% off the cost of a bike.
This work can be linked to a full Travel Plan, or a stand-alone item so that improvements can be made promptly, perhaps feeding into a Travel Plan at a later date.

For example TI members have worked on workplace cycle audits at NHS Tower Hamlets.

Cycle Infrastructure Audit

If you would like to know exactly what cycle infrastructure your authority has, its condition and efficacy, then Transport Initiatives can provide the answers. We have carried out audits of all or some of the following cycle infrastructure:

  • Lanes
  • Paths
  • Advanced Stop Lines
  • Crossings
  • Parking
  • Signing
  • Barriers

To reduce costs an infrastructure audit can be combined with a Cycle Skills Network Audit (CSNA) which makes its delivery cheaper than carrying out two separate audits. We have also carried out CSNAs which included collecting data on only certain types of infrastructure, such as cycle parking and/or signing.

Infrastructure audits
Position of cycle signs with references on Penistone Road cycle route, Sheffield.
The sign apparently in the middle of the road is on an island not shown on the base map.

Infrastructure Audit

No matter what kind of infrastructure you have on or off highway, we can audit it. While to date we have mainly specialised in audits of cycle infrastructure, the principles of auditing are reasonably generic and so we are happy to consider any approach. We use hand held computers to input data to digital mapping layers on site.

Audits may also require referenced photographs for each piece of infrastructure audited and we can weblink these to the mapping entries. A good example is the Southwark cycle parking survey which is now available on line at:
(link coming shortly).

Infrastructure audits
Southwark Guardrail

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