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Photo: Cycling England


Cycling England publishes Making a Cycling Town

New resource will help inspire best practice in the design and delivery of cycling infrastructure and smarter choice initiatives that get more people cycling, more often.

As part of its suite of research capturing the benefits and learning from its original six Cycling Demonstration Towns (CDT), Cycling England has published Making a Cycling Town: Practitioners’ Experiences from the Cycling Demonstration Towns

This qualitative evaluation report captures the stories and experiences of the CDTs, based on reflective evaluation from the local officers and stakeholders involved. It outlines ten best practice principles to guide the set-up and design of cycling programmes which will get more people cycling, more often. It also contains the story of each CDT to date, looking at the practicalities of what they have delivered, the influence of their unique local contexts, and what they learned from their successes and challenges along the way.

The final section of Making a Cycling Town looks thematically at common areas of focus across the CDTs – to draw out best practice and lessons learnt for the benefit of practitioners looking to develop infrastructure, activities to market and enable cycling, or school and workplace-focused interventions.  

The lead author and researcher of Making a Cycling Town was Beth Hiblin, who completed the project in her previous role at the transport consultancy Colin Buchanan, along with her colleagues Susanne Afra, Adrian Webb and Margo Hemphill. Beth is now the lead consultant at The Smarter Choice Consultancy.

CyclING Demonstration Towns

Between 2005 and 2008 Cycling England granted CDT status to six towns across England. Utilising £7m of funding from the Department for Transport, the programme has invested European levels of funding into cycling, in order to learn about the relative impact of different types of cycling-related measures in different local contexts, as well as about best practice implementation of the most effective measures.  

The six CDTs were: Aylesbury, Brighton & Hove, Darlington, Derby, Exeter and Lancaster with Morecombe. In 2008 Cycling England announced a further £140m of funding, which is enabling the CDTs to continue their programmes until 2011, and which has created eleven new Cycling Towns and England’s first Cycling City.

Evidencing Impact & Capturing Learning 

Now that the first phase of the CDT programme is finished, Cycling England has been capturing their initial experiences and learning from these – as well as assessing their impact on local cycling levels. It wants to enable other local authorities and stakeholders to learn from these demonstration projects, and to make the case for further investment in cycling.

The Making a Cycling Town qualitative report sits alongside a wealth of other research Cycling England commissioned into the impact of the CDTs on local levels of cycling, and into the economic benefits of increasing cycling – variously carried out by Cavill Associates, Sustrans, Leeds Institute for Transport Studies and the University of Bolton. Links to these companion reports can be found below.

Cycling England is a non-departmental public body, created in 2005, to support the Department for Transport’s aim of increasing levels of cycling across England.

Find out more

Download Making a Cycling Town:  Practitioners’ Experiences from the Cycling Demonstration Towns.

Find out how we can help with your social research or sustainable transport project.

Other Cycling Demonstration TownS Research

Lift Off for Cycling: Cycling Demonstration Towns Report 2009

Analysis & Synthesis of Evidence on the Effects of Investment in 6 Cycling Demonstration Towns

Valuing Increased Cycling in the Cycling Demonstration Towns

Cycling Demonstration Towns Monitoring Project Report 2006-2009

Cycling Demonstration Towns Monitoring Project Report 2006-2009 Appendix

Cycling Demonstration Towns Surveys of Cycling & Physical Activity 2006-2009