Perceived cycling risk and route acceptability to potential users are obstacles to policy support for cycling and a better understanding of these issues will assist planners and decision makers. Two models of perceived risk, based on non-linear least squares, and a model of acceptability, based on the logit model, have been estimated for whole journeys based on responses from a sample of 144 commuters to video clips of routes and junctions.
The risk models quantify the effect of motor traffic volumes, demonstrate that roundabouts add more to perceived risk than traffic signal controlled junctions and show that right turn manoeuvres increase perceived risk. Facilities for bicycle traffic along motor trafficked routes and at junctions are shown to have little effect on perceived risk and this brings into question the value of such facilities in promoting bicycle use. These models would assist in specifying infrastructure improvements, the recommending of least risk advisory routes and assessing accessibility for bicycle traffic.
The acceptability model confirms the effect of reduced perceived risk in traffic free conditions and the effects of signal controlled junctions and right turns. The acceptability models, which may be used at an area wide level, would assist in assessing the potential demand for cycling and in target setting.