In order to effectively plan cycle infrastructure and cycle networks, detailed and comprehensive data sets on how cycling works in a given area are vital. That’s whySee.Senserecently teamed up withTransport For West Midlands and Coventry City Council, funded by theActive Travel Fund, to gather data insights on cycling in the Coventry area that could, according to councillor Patricia Hetherton, “support the development of the future Starley Network route, as well as give insights into the quality and safety of people’s current cycling journeys within the corridor."
The project ran from November 2021 to November 2022, during which 200 cyclists in Coventry, England, volunteered to collect data in return for a subsidisedSee.SenseACE rear light. In doing so, they were able to identify popular cycle routes in the area, and locations where cyclists were frequently experiencing close passes, swerving, sudden breaking and road surface issues. This was collected through thequantitative sensor data from the light, and qualitative data in the form of the geolocated survey feedback shared via the in-app survey.
SEE.SENSE COLLECTS STANDARDISED DATA SET ON RIDE INSIGHTS
WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE PROJECT?
Of the 200 participants, 79.2% identified as male, while 20.8% identified as female. Whilst 58.5% of participants did not disclose their age, the largest group of cyclists who shared their age were between 46-55 years old.
HOW DID THE PARTICIPANTS CYCLE?
Data insights from the project revealed that cyclists made over 5,600 trips throughout the year, saving around 6,500 kg of carbon dioxide, and building up a total of over 43,300 km (the equivalent of cycling from Coventry to South Africa 3 times!).
WHAT WE FOUND OUT - ROUTE POPULARITY
The study found that the most popular routes for cyclists in Coventry were found on the outskirts of the city.
Here are the three most popular cycling routes discovered by our data.
Earlsdon Ave South/Earlsdon Ave North/Queensland Ave/ Four Pounds Ave
A popular route despite no cycling infrastructure.
A busy A-road with good access to the city centre.
Binley Road/Binley Cycleway
Approximately half of the highlighted route is the Binley Cycleway. Again, another good route in and out of the city.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT - AVERAGE SPEED
High Speed Routes
Allesley Old Rd
One side of Allesley Old Road shows high speeds of cyclists, while the other side shows lower speeds, due to the hill in this location.
Black Prince Ave
High speeds are achieved by cyclists on this long straight road, with little opportunity for cyclist-pedestrian conflict.
Low Speed Routes
Slower speeds obtained by cyclists in the busy city centre.
A narrow path with cyclist-pedestrian conflict.
A busy main road leading to a busy roundabout, with no cycling infrastructure.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT - SWERVING
Upper Well St
High levels of swerving in this area could be due to cyclists navigating the busy roundabout or filtering into traffic when the cycle lane ends at Lamb St.
Queen Victoria Rd
Swerving in this area could be due to pedestrians crossing to enter the shopping centre, or taxis opening doors or pulling out into traffic, unaware of cyclists.
Walsgrave Rd & Swan Lane
There is no cycling infrastructure in this area. Pedestrian-cyclist conflicts may occur at the exit of the park on the right, while swerving may also occur at this busy junction.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT - BRAKING
There is a very short cycle lane on this path which ends suddenly at a pedestrian crossing, where there could be pedestrian- cyclist conflict causing heavy braking.
The exit from War Memorial Park a few metres from a busy junction could explain the heavy braking in this area.
Friar’s Rd / Manor Terrace
The busy pedestrian area as well as multiple junctions could explain the extreme braking in this area.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT - ROAD SURFACE
One of the smoothest roads experienced by cyclists in Coventry city centre.
Park Rd & Manor Rd
One of the roughest roads in Coventry. Cyclists experience potholes and broken up roads in this area.
Rough road surface caused by cobblestones.
SEE.SENSE REPORTS - IN-APP RIDE SURVEY REPORTS
Throughout the project, geolocated post ride surveys were submitted by participants via theSee.Senseapp. This allowed cyclists to highlight issues such as close passes, collisions, potholes and obstructions they had experienced in Coventry.
Cyclists recorded 763 issues throughout the year, across the city, including an enormous 226 close pass reports.
TheSee.Senseapp also allowed cyclists to make infrastructure requests when they encountered an area they believed to be in serious need of improvement. 156 infrastructure requests were made throughout the year in Coventry, the majority of which requested more measures to separate bikes from pedestrians and cars.
No. of Reports
HOW SEE.SENSE DATA WILL BE USED
Thanks to the data collected bySee.Sensetechnology throughout the project, Coventry City Council and TFWM now have an important data resource to support the development of the future Starley Network route, as well as give insights into the quality and safety of people’s current cycling journeys within the corridor.
It is hoped that theSee.Sensedata will be used to further inform future infrastructure design, to add insight into route coherence, directness, safety, comfort and attractiveness, and to create new cycling awareness campaigns in the area.
In fact, campaigns developed using theSee.Sensedata have already been put into practice, such as its use to inform the locations of a Close Pass campaign conducted in Coventry by the West Midlands Police and West Midlands Fire Department in March 2022. In this campaign, drivers were educated on the 1.5m+ overtaking rule at locations identified bySee.Sensedata in which close passes frequently occurred.
We would like to extend a big thank you to all the cyclists who took part in the project, and shared their anonymised data insights to make this work possible.
To find out howSee.Sensetechnology and data services can help with your infrastructure and road safety projects, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will be in touch.
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