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  • The Southampton cycle survey has given us an invaluable insight and understanding of how cyclists travel around the city, where there are accident hotspots and where investment is needed. It has been invaluable in winning significant funding to address these things for cyclists in Southampton.

    Dawn Baxendale, Director for Economic Development at Southampton City Council

Southampton City Council used Ordnance Survey digital data products to collect information and demonstrate results of a survey of cycle usage across the city to secure additional funding for road and cycleway repairs and improve safety for cyclists.

The challenge

Southampton City Council needed to get a better idea of cycling habits across the city in order to understand key cycle routes; identify accident hot spots for cyclists; to better plan network repairs; and to address poor road surfaces on key cycle corridors with the support of additional funding.

The solution

A city-wide survey of cyclists was undertaken by 70 staff on the morning of 18 October 2011 – handing out some 3 700 survey packs (of which 38% were returned).

The packs contained a 20-question survey about respondent demographics; their cycling habits and experiences; and a large map of the city onto which cyclists could draw their routes and then mark out locations of accidents or hazards with specific symbols. In addition the survey asked several questions about what respondents wanted the council to do about developing the cycle network.

The key output has been a city-wide map of route usage by cyclists which means planning improvements to the cycle network can be given equal emphasis with respect to planning for car and bus traffic. The map also depicts locations of hundreds of accidents (85% of which were not reported to police and/or do not feature in official accident records). It reported hazards and substandard surfaces – providing a far larger volume of information on deficiencies on the network and the numbers of cyclists affected by these than was previously available.

As a direct result of the data, Southampton has initiated projects to upgrade two key-cycle corridors in the city to a much higher standard and has used the data to support their bid for £18 million of funding from the Df T’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

The benefits

  • Potentially £18 million of funding from the DfT’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
  • Increased funding for school cycle training in the city.
  • Collaboration with the police to provide better intelligence for incident hotspots and general traffic policing.
  • Robust case study to carry out significant upgrades and repairs to the most heavily used sections of network.
  • Input to city centre development projects highlighting better provision for cyclists as part of their design.

The products used

Download this case study PDF – 759kB

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