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A quality standard for the National Cycle Network

people on bikes on traffic-free path ©Dean Smith

The vision for the National Cycle Network is for a UK-wide network of traffic-free paths for everyone, connecting cities, towns and countryside and loved by the communities they serve.

We are adopting a new quality standard to ensure path widths and surfaces are built for everyone. Not just for the people who use it already, but also for those who want to but can’t. We want to help those who face mobility challenges or are less physically active.

The quality standard for the National Cycle Network is made up of three elements:

1. National Cycle Network design principles

The National Cycle Network design principles set out the key elements that make the Network distinctive and that need to be considered during the design of new and improved routes forming part of the Network

2. National Cycle Network level of service measures

We have developed seven level of service measures to enable the quality of the user experience to be assessed. These measures will be assessed based on the answers to a series of criteria for each measure.

The level of service measures will provide us with information on how the condition of the Network is changing over time and inform interventions to improve the quality where required.

3. Signing and wayfinding guidelines

A set of signing and wayfinding guidelines will be developed in 2019 to set out how the Network should be signed. We aim for the new signage to achieve a consistent user experience, providing directions to key destinations served by the Network.

The signing and wayfinding guidelines will also describe how the Network identity should be applied in conjunction with signing and wayfinding. This will enable clearer recognition of the Network on the paths themselves.