Sustrans traffic-free routes and greenways design guide

The Sustrans traffic-free routes and greenways design guide provides guidance for the planning, design, construction and maintenance of new traffic-free routes and greenways. It covers key principles relating to inclusivity, design, construction and maintenance and it addresses land and legal issues, planning and consents, and ecology.

Traffic-free routes and greenways design guide contents


The Sustrans traffic-free routes and greenways design guide focuses on routes situated away from the highway. It does not consider cycle tracks or shared-use footways located within the road. That is not to say that the principles throughout the guide could not be applied to those types of facility.

It was developed under the assumption that its users would possess skills, knowledge and experience relating to active travel.

This guide applies across the UK, although the following national differences should be noted:

  • Application of most recent iterations of route planning guidance (e.g. England Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans, Welsh Active Travel Act, Northern Ireland Government Greenway Strategy, and Cycling by Design 2010 and Designing Streets in Scotland).
  • Legal issues around land assembly and traffic-free route creation processes.
  • Planning system variations.


The information and opinions contained in this Design Guide are for general information purposes only. This Design Guide is not intended to constitute legal advice. It should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice from your solicitor.

If you are interested in working with us, please get in touch:

Will Haynes

Infrastructure Director at Sustrans