Some of these redways run next to the grid roads and local roads, with underpasses or bridges where they intersect major roads. Others run through park land and along the flood plain of the Great Ouse and its tributaries. One of the aims of the redways was to make travel for pedestrians and cyclists convenient, safe, pleasant and accident free, but a study suggests that the system has only partially met these expectations. More recent statistical data shows that the accident rate for pedestrians in Milton Keynes is just 46% of the average for England and the rate for cyclists is 87%. In addition, the secluded semi-rural nature of many redways that make them pleasant by day can make some people feel unsafe to use them after dark.
Using the redways can be frustrating for experienced cyclists, because they tend to go under or over the roads, rather than vice versa. The frequent changes in gradient, and circuitious routing, can be tiring, demanding on cycle and cyclist, and lead to slow journey times. But for the prepared cyclist, the redways provide a convenient, pleasant way to commute within Milton Keynes. Because they take in the most scenic areas, the redways provide an excellent leisure facility. The library provides free maps of the better tourist routes. Hardcore cyclists prefer to use the grid roads, but the dual carriageways, roundabouts and 60 mph limits makes this an option best suited to the confident and experienced. That said, from 1987 to 1998 there was only one fatal cyclist collision on the grid roads, versus six fatalities involving cyclists using the redway system, though five of these involved motor-car/cyclist collisions at roadway/redway intersections. The number of cyclists using the redways is far higher than the number using the roads and their experience levels far lower, but there are no normalised statistics to show which on average is safer.
There are also frequent Sheffield cycle racks in the Business District near the station, and outside the shopping centre and theatre, on both sides of Midsummer Boulevard. Cyclists appear to be encouraged to cycle through car parks (with two-way lanes) on each side of Midsummer Boulevard, and use pedestrian underpasses at the major junctions (cars use the roundabouts and/or traffic lights).
The Swans Way long distance footpath also uses part of the redway system.