Cycle Widths

The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, CD-195 (Revision 1), Section E/2, makes reference to a Cycle Design Vehicle. This sets minimum standards to accommodate cycles of 1200mm wide, 2800mm long.

Sustrans guidance for space requirements uses a design envelope with a width of 1300mm, but whilst also endorsing the width given in CD-195, above (6.1.3). The charity also notes that a conventional bike has a typical width of 650mm. Accounting for a adult cyclist, a static width may then be 750mm (6.1.2).

Wheels for Wellbeing, a charity that advocates for inclusive cycling, recommends that access restrictions provide a gap of not less than 1500mm, with a recommended gap of 2000mm (WfW Guide to Inclusive Cycling, p.42).

Personal Research

From my own research, the following table lists various types of cycle and their respective widths based on handlebars. Sources for this data can be found below. This is not an exhaustive list and other types of cycle (e.g., side-by-side tandem) can be wider still.

Dutch Bike (swept back bars) 500 – 600mm1
Mountain Bikes (MTB) and Hybrids
(Personal hybrid bike was originally 690mm wide)
630 – 800mm 2
Road400 – 440mm3
Cargo/Utility630 – 880mm4, 5
Handcycle (Clip-on)570 – 600mm6

Motorbikes Comparison
Moped (50cc)645 – 695mm7, 8
Yamaha Scooter (125cc – 292cc)765 – 775mm9, 10

When planning infrastructure and traffic control filters in particular, any furniture should be able to accommodate these types of cycle with a margin either side to ensure safe and comfortable transit.

The widest cycle type listed here is 880mm (cargo/utility bike). With a twenty percent margin (ten percent per side; 176mm), that provides a required minimum space of 1056mm (i.e., just over one metre).

This does not account for additional width that may be created through loads, or approaching any restrictions at an angle. It also does not account for any other cycle not listed in my table that may be wider still. As noted above, the DMRB, Wheels for Wellbeing, and Sustrans all call for minimum widths of 1500mm (1.5m).

The point of the data on this page is to show that even only looking at a small section of cycle types where the widest is 880mm, it is clear that providing unrestricted access to that cycle will not prevent access to motorcycles where the width comes well under the required space needed to properly accommodate cycles.



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