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Exploring changes to cycle infrastructure to improve the experience of cycling for families / William Clayton; Charles Musselwhite
Journal of Transport Geography, Volume: 33, Pages: 54 - 61
Swansea University Author: Musselwhite, Charles
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DOI (Published version): 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2013.09.003
Positive changes to the immediate cycling environment can improve the cycling experience through increasing levels of safety, but little is known about how the intrinsic benefits of cycling might be enhanced beyond this. This paper presents research which has studied the potential benefits of changi...
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Positive changes to the immediate cycling environment can improve the cycling experience through increasing levels of safety, but little is known about how the intrinsic benefits of cycling might be enhanced beyond this. This paper presents research which has studied the potential benefits of changing the infrastructure within a cycle network – here the National Cycle Network (NCN) in the United Kingdom (UK) – to enhance the intrinsic rewards of cycling. The rationale in this approach is that this could be a motivating factor in encouraging greater use of the cycle network, and consequently help in promoting cycling and active travel more generally amongst family groups. The project involved in-depth research with 64 participants, which included family interviews, self-documented family cycle rides, and school focus groups. The findings suggest that improvements to the cycling environment can help maintain ongoing motivation for experienced cycling families by enhancing novel aspects of a routine journey, creating enjoyable activities and facilitating other incidental experiences along the course of a route, and improving the kinaesthetic experience of cycling. For those less experienced, this can create a legitimacy of space and mode that could help dispel real or imagined safety fears associated with cycling. Despite the potential of these benefits to assist in changing travel behaviour, it is acknowledged that they are not alone a solution to the barriers to greater cycling uptake, and continued development of off-road and specialist cycle networks must continue.
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