The culture behind infrastructure: reflections on nearly a decade of research into cycling culture and policy in the UK

4 August 2017

Cyclists in London

A new essay by Dr Rachel Aldred provides an introduction to her award-winning research into cycling cultures and policy in the UK.

Dr Aldred, a Reader at the Department of Planning and Transport, University of Westminster, was awarded the 2016 ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize for Outstanding Impact in Public Policy.

Her research has had a wide-ranging influence on transport planning policy. It prompted the development of cycle design guidance used in London and elsewhere in England, and has shaped the creation of London’s cycle superhighways. She introduced the concept of cycling ‘near misses’ into transport policy thinking. Her work has influenced cycling infrastructure development to make it more child-friendly, such as in Waltham Forest’s ‘mini-Holland’ scheme. Recently she helped develop the ‘Propensity to Cycle Tool’, funded by the Department for Transport.

In this reflection piece, she provides introductory insights into her research, exploring the cultural and ethical dimensions behind cycling infrastructure and policy.

Download the essay (PDF)

Image: cyclists using the Cycle Superhighway on Vauxhall Bridge in central London. Copyright: Joe Dunckley /

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