Shambles over cycle-route NCN88 to Barry
NCN88 is to run from Pont-y-Werin to Bridgend. The Council was challenged at the Vale of Glamorgan LDP Inquiry, and now says the “the route is
largely indicative”. The current mapped routes, not disclosed till now, are given in evidence - but, curiously, do not show which of the routes the NCN is due to follow. It
will be subject to further examination when the LDP Inquiry re-convenes. http://www.valeofglamorgan.
Maps of the proposals and more information are downloadable below:-
Bath cycle map.
Please find below a link to a new map of cycle routes in Bath. The CCC are exploring the possibility of producing a similar map of Cardiff, starting by making a list of popular destinations for cycle journeys. Please contact us if you'd like to help with this project.
Penarth cycle path lights
Please find a link below to an article on lights for the Penarth Zigzag cycle path:-
Web tool for council contacts
Health Minister Rebecca Evans AM has launched the latest tool to help improve cycling and walking in the country. The web tool, which was built by Cycling UK (www.cyclinguk.org/wales) on behalf of partner organisations operating in Wales, helps connect cyclists with their local authorities, so they can map the networks needed for future cycle provision. It enables you to notify your county council that you want to be consulted on the cycling route network that they are drafting. Now’s the time to sign up!
Can we stop the Massacre of the Enfys Network?
Caerphilly Rd bus lane scheme
Here's a photo and comments on this recently announced scheme.
Proposals for improvements to Ninian Park Rd
Please find below a downloadable document describing the Councils proposals for Ninian Park Rd. Comments to the council by 13th March.
Cycle Manifesto - comments from campaigns manager
CCC campaigns manager Max Wallis appraises the Cardiff Cycling manifesto launch below
Cycling Manifesto hype
“Plans to turn Cardiff into ‘Amsterdam of the UK’ headlined the S.W. Echo.
Yet there are no “plans” nor any prospect of plans. This ‘manifesto’ is little better than a political party manifesto, some unstudied and impractical claims along with the CTC national aim for £15 per head p.a. investment in cycling.
Disappointingly, this Manifesto http://www.cardiffcyclecity.
The practical proposals like 20mph speed limit, city centre bike hub and bike-hire scheme have been stalled by Cardiff in the past, the call for a cycling officer team is looking sick when the Council has dispensed with its single cycling officer post, while a cycling Commissioner is Welsh government level. A city-bike hire scheme, shelved for years since the ill-conceived OyBike collapsed (£200k subsidy lost), may be revived as a pre-election promise.
The call for two cycle superhighways is airily copied from London, but impossible without reallocating roadways, so a challenge to the city’s strategy to provide car access to central shopping.
Repeating CTC's call for £15 per head p.a. investment in cycling needs comparing with Cardiff’s budget in the Local Transport Plan for decreased spending of £1 million p.a. (under £3 per head) and the Council’s refusal to include cycle projects in the Community Infrastructure fund, financed by new developments.
Calling for completion of the Enfys route network is sad, when the quality so far has been dismal and grant moneys have been mis-used for resurfacing roadways and taking out cycle-lanes (in Canton) and putting cyclists onto pavements, re-designated as shared paths.
The Active Travel Act offers the biggest opportunity. It means Cardiff council complying with route standards and genuinely involving cyclists and walkers in designing and upgrading route networks, including an end to their ‘shared path’ policy.
Cardiff made no progress for cycling with the special funding (£30 million) for “sustainable travel city”; little progress for the £3million grants for the Enfys network. How can the Manifesto claim more money, when Cardiff’s misspending and flouting of Active Travel law remain unaddressed?
Cardiff cycling manifesto
We have recieved the following notification:-
Cardiff Cycle City launch 29 January
Proposal to re-introduce a cycle hire / public share scheme
Follow the link below to a document about a new Cardiff council proposal for a bike hire/share scheme. There is a public meeting due shortly mentioned at the end of the document.
Bicycle Account Steering Group
Iona Gordon (ex CCC chairperson and Cardiff council's cycling champion) has been asked to join the Bicycle Account Steering Group for Cardiff which is to be set up next month.
The Steering Group has been established to help shape the Cardiff Bicycle Account and ensure that it meets the needs of local stakeholders and that the information published in the Bicycle Account can be used effectively to inform planning and action to improve cycling conditions in Cardiff.
Cardiff Council spending on Cycling projects
Huge spending – for little effect:
£1.8 million in 2012/13, £2.0 million in 2013/14.
This has gone into costly construction schemes (Cardiff Bridge) and renovating kerbs, pavements and roadways (as Cathedral Road, Canton High St; also Corbett Rd/Park Place junction), while removing cycle-lanes in Canton and lead-ins to ASLs at Corbett Rd. Some benefit for cyclists, but cost:benefit overall is low. Failure to produce ‘high quality’ cycling routes promised for Enfys.
At 2013 AGM: Jo Sachs-Eldridge presented a spreadsheet in which funds from the following were identified:
# Cardiff Council - £625,000 in 2013, £450,000 in 2014.
# Welsh Assembly Government - £1,185,000 in 2013.
# SEWTA - £650,000 in 2014, then £900,000. (cf. £895k + £1260k in SEWTA approved bid)
'Shared use' pavements contrary to Active Travel guidance
Cardiff Council is trying to introduce 'shared use' footways at corners, as the example given by Jo for Newport Rd/Dominion Way
This ignores the worsened conditions for pedestrians; the Active Travel guidance says shared footways should not be used in urban situations.
Failure on Cowbridge Rd East (near PO sorting office) and at the Corbett Rd/Park Place junction http://www.
Despite 'thumbs down' in the Active Travel guidance, Cardiff officers are still persisting in Ely at the Grand Ave/Cowbridge Rd West junction and linked sections. The law says they must provide for cycling on the road, yet they omit lead-ins to ASLs on the highway, to make wider lanes for vehicles.
Colum Road Cycle Scheme
The campaign have recived the following from Cardiff Council:-
Following the feedback received to the Colum Road cycle scheme consultation which took place in November 2013, some amendments have been made to the proposed scheme, including:
• a tabled junction and zebra crossing at Colum Drive
• two informal pedestrian crossing points with speed tables along Colum Road
The attached plan outlines the amendments.
If you have any comments about these proposals, please get in touch by 1st September 2014.
Gail Bodley Scott
Transport Policy / Polisi Trafnidiaeth
Strategic Planning Highways Traffic & Transportation
Cynllunio Strategol Priffyrdd, Traffig a Thrafnidiaeth
Cardiff Council / Cyngor Caerdydd
Corbett Road/Park Place junction scheme completed
Newly-completed scheme on Enfys 'Strategic' Route 6, largely for pavement improvements.
Two ASL lead-in lanes added, two lead-ins deleted. Turn into and out off blocked of Museum Ave remains informal and undesigned, via pedestrian-waiting area, despite this being an Enfys Route, funded from cycling grant.
See pictures below.
Comments required on pedestrian improvements.
Cardiff Council have requested comments on the two schemes below in Ely and Grangetown. The text of their request is reproduced below, followed by maps of the schemes:-
Grand Avenue - Pedestrian Improvements
Transport Projects group are proposing to implement the above road safety project as part of the future Traffic Management Programme. A copy of the indicative scheme layout is attached for your information / comment.
Brief Description of works to be undertaken: Pedestrian and Junction Improvements.
Grid Reference: 312930, 176095.
Aim of Project: Improved pedestrian facilities and junction improvements.
I would be grateful if you would make your comments by email by 21/05/2014. If I do not receive a response by this date I will assume you have no comments to make.
Canton Bridge Cycleway - failing already
Police Crackdown on Queen St Cycling condemned
South Wales Police are again targeting cyclists on Cardiff's Queen Street in Cardiff, instructing plain-clothes officers to enforce £50 fines for anyone cycling on any part of the street at any time of day. This includes using Queen Street to access the Friary or Charles Street.
This contradicts ACPO's guidance over spot fines, re-enforced recently by the Road Safety & Cycling Minister (Robert Goodwill MP) who says spot fines are to be confined to irresponsible cyclists - and that cyclists are justified to use pedestrian areas if they feel the alternative is unsafe.
It's not just police but PCSOs who have powers to exercise their prejudice against cyclists, while accepting all sorts of parking and pavement-driving offences. http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/pcsos-soon-able-to-fine-cyclists-without-lights-and-reflectors/015786 10 Dec 2013
South Wales Police are under Home Office legislation, not devolved to Wales. The Welsh Ministers (John Griffiths and Edwina Hart) could condemn the anti-cyclist actions of the police. But let's make our Police Commissioner act - Alun Michael, www.southwalescommissioner.org.uk/en/Home.aspx
Campaign objects to parts of ELY MILL development 12/01663/DCO 17th March 2014
The Cycling Campaign is most concerned about the new junction proposed on Cowbridge Rd West, to access the Ely Mill site half-way down the hill from the Ely roundabout. Not only would it increase traffic congestion and air pollution in the hot-spot of Ely Bridge (already over the legal limit) but it provides a bad contorted crossing for the Ely Trail and disrupts the existing foot and cycleways. It pays no regard to policy (Manual for Streets and Active Travel Act) to give priority to pedestrian and cyclist movements. The cycle-paths would be unsuitable for younger and less confident cyclists, who are expected to use the Riverside Path and linked sections of the Ely Trail. The purpose of the junction is given as “not harm the free flow of traffic” with no acknowledgement of providing high quality for cyclists and pedestrians. Further, the cycle/pedestrian bridge ending in Dyfrig Road does not provide the “high quality access to Caerau and Trelai Park” set in the remit for the Ely Mill development.
the Campaign's formal objection can be read here
New major junction planned
This is between the Ely roundabout (top) and Ely river (below). The roadway will take much of the tongue of land that was to be green space and to carry the riverside Ely Trail. Instead the Trail is diverted on shared-paths alongside roads (red) joining the Wroughton Place section of the current Trail by the river on the lower left corner. The current shared path to the river bridge, onwards to Caerau/Ely, is shrunk to 2-metre width, to exclude cyclists. The Council claims these changes are minor, so as to rush them through Committee, omitting street-Notices to the public.
Cycleway between Trelai Park and Caerau
This cycleway (Penally Rd to Heol Trelai) is now fully open.
It was closed out of school hours for some years to protect the adjacent Glyn Derw school field from dogs, and required regular locking by the caretaker. The fence on the right* was erected in February, a year after local Cllr Peter Bradbury took up the issue. It's of course over-engineered and Cllr Bradbury is now looking into planting bushes to soften the uglyness.
This link opens the way to creating a cycleway branch between the Ely Trail and Caerau, then to Micahelston-Le-Pit and Wrinstone along the lanes.
* see picture below
Here are the planned dates
The commuter route for walkers and cyclists through Bute Park will revert to the normal route from the gates at College of Music and Drama to the Millennium Bridge, which will both be open until 7pm from today.
The West Gate facing the Holiday Inn by the Pettigrew Tea Rooms, will now close at the normal closing time for Bute Park, which is 3.45pm this week.
Cardiff bridge scheme response from CCC
Cardiff Council are planning to change the layout of pavements and cycle lanes on Cardiff Bridge. CCC believe that the scheme is wrong for the situation and would encourage members to object to it. The last day for objections is this Weds.27th November.
Playing games with children's health?
Risca School in Newport, Wales has banned cycling-to-school on ‘health and safety’ grounds by refusing to allow bikes on the premises. It appears that the bike parking is actually being taken out to provide more car parking. Incredibly, the school is a member of the Eco-schools scheme.
CCC Press release re Pont-y-Werin:-
Commuter challenge 2013
Please see press releases and photograph below re the commuter challenge held on June 27th.
Cardiff Cycling Campaign
Commuter Challenge, Thursday 27th June 2013
of commuters travelled into the centre of Cardiff today from four
places in Cardiff, by bike, car, and bus or train, in Cardiff Cycling
Campaign’s “Commuter Challenge”, a Cycle Festival event.
event, from 08.30, demonstrated real commuter travel times along
transport corridors to Cardiff Central Station, from which the modes
can be compared. The selected starting points were the International
Sports Village in Cardiff Bay, Splott Pool and Activity Centre,
Victoria Park, and Llandaff North Railway Station.
Traditionally “Commuter Challenges” have been bike versus car – the bike
always wins! But it’s important to show how well, or otherwise,
Cardiff is doing in shifting people’s travel modes for everyday
cycling was shown today to be the best way of travelling into central
Cardiff, but the selection of rail and bus termini illustrated the
case for passenger transport along direct transport corridors.
Certain bus routes, such as those along Cowbridge Road, can be very
effective. And, if capacity allowed, a combination of cycling or
walking and a train journey could be a winning formula!
Campaign would like to thank all sixteen of the Commuter challenge
participants for their contributions to the event ...
A Cardiff Cycling Manifesto?
It has been suggested that the Cardiff Cycling Campaign help develop a Cycling manifesto for Cardiff. At the last campaign meeting it was agreed to ask our members what they thought of this idea, and if they would like to contribute ideas and suggest things which should be included. Links to Bristol and Cambridge cycling manifestos have been added to our interesting links page, to give you some examples of what has been done in other cities.
David Lewis: 30th December 1955 to 16th
I’m deeply saddened
to have to tell you that David Lewis recently passed away at his home
in Pontardawe . His wife Anne Learmonth was with him. He had been
David was active in
Cardiff Cycling Campaign in the nineteen nineties, becoming Events
Officer in 1993. He chaired the organisation from 1997 until 2001,
but even after handing over the stewardship, he kept a keen interest
in the activites of the Campaign.
After the turn of the
millennium he progressively spent more time with his then girlfriend
Anne in Swansea before marrying her in July 2007. They bought a house
in Pontardawe in the Swansea valley, which they named, ‘Roc
Trévezel’ after the highest point in Brittany. This hill is not
far from where David and Anne had first met on a Paris Brest Paris
endurance ride in 1991.
To quote from David, “I
have thoroughly enjoyed my years of cycling, making many good friends
along the way…” – I would like to think I was one of them
during his years in Cardiff.
My recollection of
David was as a reliable friend and thoroughly good company. I recall
his fortieth birthday celebration (fancy dress, of course). And then
the winter day when he chauffeured my newly acquired kitten and
myself back home from the Cardiff Animal Sanctuary. It is of such
little details that friendships are made. I am only sorry that I
allowed our friendship to lapse somewhat when he moved to the Swansea
Valley. I am certainly glad that I was able to speak to him a couple
of weeks before he died.
He will probably be
best known in the Cardiff Cycling Campaign as the linchpin of the
organisation’s rides, especially the mid-week evening events. He
kept an interest in this even during his four years as Chair when he
also had the responsibility of guiding the organisation.
Outside the Campaign,
David was well known as a long distance cyclist, thinking nothing of
riding from the Severn Bridge to the Menai Bridge and back over a
weekend. He has both ridden and organised such events many times with
Audax UK. There is more information on David’s life, concentrating
on long distance cycling at http://www.ukcyclist.org.uk/david-lewis
It was heartening to
see around 120 people at David’s funeral last month, showing
clearly how many people’s lives he had touched. He will not go
unremembered in Cardiff Cycling Campaign, where for many years he was
a stalwart and active member.
Our thoughts are with
Anne and with David’s family at this time.
Photograph by Tony
Pember and quote reproduced with kind permission of ukcyclist.org.uk
Cardiff Cycle Festival 2013
The Cycle campaign has recieved the following e-mail about the Cardiff Cycle festival 2013:-
Cycle Festival 2013 - Steering Group
We are now beginning to plan the Cardiff Cycle Festival for 2013, the dates have been confirmed as the 14th to 30thof June (the first week of this will over lap with national Bike Week).
As it worked so well last year we will again be joining forces with the One Planet Festival for our main event. The One Planet Festival/Cycle Festival launch event which will be held in the bay is being organised by a steering group headed by the One Planet group.
However we would like to have a separate steering group to be involved in the planning, organising and promotion of the rest of the Cardiff Cycle Festival – helping to come up with ideas, contact potential event hosts, put on individual events, support other events, think of different ways of engaging with different audiences, different ways of promoting the events etc.
The first steering group meeting is at City Hall Conference Room D on the 17th of December between 12:30-2.00pm.
Please let us know whether you would like to attend.
And please feel free to pass this on to others who may be interested in being part of this group.
Cardiff Cycling Campaign Annual Meeting
Cardiff Cycling Campaign held its Annual Meeting on Monday 12 th November
2012 at Sports Wales, Cardiff, attended by 31 members and supporters.
Councillor Ralph Cook, Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and executive
member for Transport & Planning addressed the meeting. He was
accompanied by Alison Thomas, Senior Transportation Officer.
Councillor Cook reported his experience of living in Frieburg, which is the
leading German city for sustainable living. He went on to describe the current
travel modal split and the Council’s efforts in facilitating cycling in Cardiff:
o Strategic cycle route network plan, adopted September 2011, ‘corridor’
schemes being progressed with consultations;
o Supporting policies, including the Cycle Design Guide and route
o Proposed Cardiff Local Development Plan (2006-2026), with an
intended modal share of 50% non-car trips by 2026.
Cardiff Council has also promoted cycling through:
o Cardiff Cycle Festival
o Travel Plan grants
o Investigating 20mph zones and for central and residential streets
o Community engagement
Councillor Cook promised to look at having project consultations at an earlier
stage, including all road schemes.
The meeting was treated to a personal perspective entitled “Cycle
Campaigning for a unified life” by Claudine Conway, active cycling campaigner
with Swansea Wheelrights and chair of CTC Cymru. We’re here because
we enjoy cycling, she said, but, “where are we now with campaigning? Our
campaigning is mediated by professionals and hidebound with rules” In a
world where others see us as ‘an affront to other road users’, as ‘mobile
peasants’, we need to communicate the pleasures and benefits of cycling.
We’re lagging behind when it comes to messages about changing behaviour.
But what we have is our shared enjoyment of cycling, valuing others,
in cycling campaigning – as opposed to lobbying, with its commitments
to the status quo, is limiting, while campaigning is empowering, open,
representative, and fun. Lobbying needs to be at the service of campaigning.
What are we campaigning for, she asked? What unites us is our shared
experiences – shared spaces for people: where pedestrians are our allies.
The ‘elephant in the room’ is the motor car, with its enormous demand
on our public spaces. Its effects can be mitigated but we need to ask the
basic question: monofunctional roads or shared streets? As cyclists we have
something to contribute to the vision of multifunctional streets. We should not
make ‘transportation’ an issue by itself but we should aim for a unified life.
Cardiff Cycling Campaign Annual General Meeting Report
Notes of the Cardiff Cycling Campaign Annual General Meeting held on
Monday 12th November 2012 at Sports Wales, Cardiff
The AGM was attended by 12 members + several supporters
The Minutes of the 2011 Annual General Meeting were agreed.
A written Annual Report was presented by Ken Barker, who commented
that we are continuing to achieve some successes in Cardiff, including
through our responses to consultations. We have seen growth in the number
of people cycling as part of their everyday activities, but we have still to see
Cardiff Council consistently incorporating cycling into transport and planning
strategies and the provision of cycle-friendly facilities. We’re a small group
of activists and we can do more with a greater involvement of members and
The Finance Report was presented. There was a small surplus in the year,
producing a funds balance of £2,500. The main income was from members
and the main items of expenditure were printing, postage & stationery, and
the Campaign website. Richard reported that the report has been examined
and approved by the honorary auditor and that she is happy to continue.
It was agreed to make no change in the membership fees for this year.
Election of Campaign officers:
Chair: Richard Nelmes, proposed Iona Gordon, seconded by Lewis Mottram
Secretary: Ken Barker, proposed Richard Nelmes, seconded by Iona Gordon
Treasurer: Richard Evans, proposed Lewis Mottram, seconded Julian Langston
Other positions appointed:
Newsletter Editor: Ken Barker
Website manager: Lewis Mottram
Members were thanked for attending the Open meeting, which has helped to
show there is a lively interest in campaigning in Cardiff.
Enfys cycling Proposals
Cardiff cycle campaign have managed to get a rare response from the council on criticisms we made of proposed cycle provision (part of the ENFYS network). Their response is reproduced below, after our comments on their plans.
Enfys cycling Proposals – comments from Cardiff Cycling
10 August 2012
This design upgrading the current on-road cyclelanes to standard width and offset from parked cars is an improvement on the present substandard lanes,
not good enough for Enfys. It gives too little attention to the junctions, including those with other parts of the Enfys network. It wrongly gives roadspace and resources to increased on-street car-parking. It has gaps in the cycleway instead of as far as possible designing for a continuous cycleway, including across side-streets.
1. Nothing done about the worst problems - Corbett Rd bridge and pavement crossover outside the Woodville. The pavement crossing is indicated for
scheme/funding, yet there is or should be plenty of S106 money from
planning permits for Lidl's, the Optometry development and the new
Maindy Rd. University quarter. The Corbett Rd bridge needs the
cyclelane down Cathays Terrace to be extended over the bridge and
into the Park Place/Colum Rd lights (junction 90B).
The pavement crossover is the key part of connecting in the
Senghenydd Rd Enfys section.
The Corbett Rd bridge is a key connection to Route 90 at junction 90B
– should be part of Enfys netwook but isn’t.
2. We object to the proposal for increased car parking by the Woodville and opposite side, despite no adjacent residential properties needing spaces.
# providing for increased car parking is misuse of cycling scheme funds
# providing for increased car parking is contrary to sustainable transport
objectives; car parking for the pub or students at the university
quarter is no part of that, nor is provision of parking spaces for
multi-car residential properties
3. If car parking places are to be reorganised, priority should be given to using road
space to plant trees and create green swales for natural drainage
between lengths of car parking, in accord with policy for sustainable
urban drainage and mitigating effects of climate change.
# Planters and/or green areas can be integrated with the upgraded on-road cycle route and must be designed against unlawful car parking
# the on-road cycleway should be mandatory (not 'advisory') for the stretches past green areas and past the Woodville pub over the Corbett Road bridge
4. The east-going cycleway should by-pass the traffic lights at the right turn into
Catherine Street, via an always-green cycle-light or relocating the
traffic light to the offside of the cycleway.
5. The proposed cyclelane between traffic lanes at the top Crwys Rd lights is not
good use of limited road-width. The present layout is better, with
left feed-in lane to a cycle reservoir, but this further forward up
to the Crwys Road-line, so that cycles can easily get into the middle
(for straight on into Fairoak Rd, or right into Crwys Rd) out of the
way of the left-turning cars and bikes (up Whitchurch Rd).
6. A cycle-link to the blocked-off Pentyrch Street at the top of Cathays Terrace needs to be planned in at this stage. Pentyrch Street is the best
link to the
new University quarter on Maindy Rd and to Maindy Stadium.
7. Nothing is shown at the link to route 10A (to Roath Park) at the Flora St/Dalton St turn, where roadway converted in the past to pavement to channel
the road-centre) could now be converted for cycles. A central
island/refuge in Cathays Terrace to provide for the right turn(s)
should be included in the present scheme.
Workplace cycle challenge
Cycle campaign officers have recieved the following notification from Sam Robinson of Challenge for change.
I am delighted to announce that all three applications to Sustain Wales’
Supporting Sustainable Living Fund have been successful. We were informed
yesterday evening that following a Fund Panel meeting last week, the
decision was taken to fully support all three proposed Workplace Cycle
Challenges in Wales in 2012. Namely: Cardiff; Swansea; Gwynedd & Anglesea.
Thanks to all local and national stakeholders for their support in these
This is a major step in the right direction and the focus is now on us,
local stakeholder groups and key local and national agencies to identify
all remaining funding opportunities, based on this major funding source
coming through, to be sure we can get three Challenges away this year as
Challenge for Change and CTC look forward to continuing to build local
partnerships, working together to get many more people cycling more often,
right across these three regions. By working in this way we aim to change
the face of cycling in Wales over time, creating a legacy of sustainable
low carbon leisure & work active travel that impacts and benefits in many
ways, dismantling social and economic barriers, right across cultures.
The following link will provide up to date information and ways to get involved in this event.
Cardiff - sustainable transport city?
Cardiff aims to become the UK’s most sustainable transport city by 2012 with public transport and cycle lanes receiving upgrades. http://www.thefreshoutlook.com/?p=8756 28 Dec.2011
Contrast this claim with:
** in Sept. 2012 they propose to close the bus station and worsen services/congestion by diverting buses to the failed 'Bus Box' with poor waiting facilities, rotten information and long walks to change buses or to rail (http://cardiffgreengranny.blogspot.com/)
** the use of 'sustainable transport' modes is aimed at only 48% journey-to-work by 2013; largely due to this, the carbon footprint of transport is substantially higher than cities such as Bristol and Newcastle (2.5tCO2 pa compared with 1.84/Bristol and 1.44/Newcastle: QUEST Euro-project: Carbon-assessment of city transport
** cycling facilities in the city are poor, detailed in the 'Freshoutlook' article as follows:
The designated cycle lanes currently consist of red stripes which are painted at the side of the road. They are poorly maintained, often parked on, not linked up to form a continuous cycle network and thinner than 1m; the safe distance cyclists need to be from the pavement in order to stop drivers overtaking them dangerously.
Other ‘cycle lanes’ consist of shared pavements that are not segregated and result in pedestrians and cyclists battling for space and bus lanes which stop abruptly.
Bus station redevelopment report
By Max Wallis
I was the sole member of the public that afternoon. Only the project officers addressed the committee, Neil Mcevoy sent apologies from the Council Executive, and the Chairman did not circulate or read out our cyclists and other letters. Though he said there's a long way to go, the Committee were told it was being rushed to Cabinet this month and then to specific planning applications in April. Is this not Cardiff rushing to another planning botch-up?
The Project Director (Kevin Doyle) gave the main presentation, showing the publicised Central Square plan, but saying the architects have been told to make changes. He followed the written report (Cardiff Council website, E&S Committee meeting), to show he'd addressed the Committee’s 18 points from last March, though they had commented on a very different plan.
# he dropped the talk of not providing for cyclists – said they would now include "decent storage" for cycles, plus workshop/sales.
# accepted the aim for a "truly integrated transport interchange" (given by the Committee), not a replacement bus stn.
# had told the designers to now connect bus station (south end of Marland House) to rail station
# decided the capacity of bus station is to be 75% of current buses - but could take 100% if programmed dynamically, assigning vacant bays to any bus and telling passengers to move.
Paul Carter as operational manager for major projects was second to Kevin Doyle. They said the bus station was to operate on Event days, but gave no explanation, apart from saying access from south.
They aim to dispense with a bus-station for 18 months, using stops around the bus box (have hired Aecom to demonstrate conclusively this can work). No Councillor asked about what happens on the closure/rebuilding of Westgate St, due within the next two years.
Funding is to come from WAG - £17M to take on the obligation to widen the Herbert St bridge, which they won't do (a very good deal they said) plus 2 x £2M tranches from Sustainable Travel City funding. (In summary, the Council ruined the bus station, gave passengers a dreadful place for years, would expect special funding to close it down for 2 years or so, before building the new one).
Marland House and the m-s carpark are to be bought; they say the carparking must be replaced elsewhere and hope to get Railtrack to build a new m-s carpark to the rear of the rail station. (Where is the Sustainable Travel assessment that says Cardiff must keep its over-abundance of central carparking, created for St Davids2 ??). The urgent driver is a Financial sector company (1500 jobs in Cardiff, who'd take on another 500). They are somehow to get Enterprise Zone advantages, even though that was originally for the Callaghan Square area (no mention of that this time, so given the criticisms (W.Mail 16 Dec. 2011 ** and poor market prospects it may be deferred as they spend all the £21M on Central Square).
They’ve engaged the "specialist" bus station designer Buro Happold, who have just revamped Slough Bus Stn (a fancy roof - aesthetics good, public facilities rotten, says a review); otherwise their experience appears from Google to be in designing Aqaba and Canada Water bus stations. Kevin Doyle said Buro Happold describe themselves as one of the leading designers.... so Cardiff engaged them despite little track record with UK bus stations.
They intend to seek Cabinet endorsement on 30 January and submit a planning application in April, to start building in October. Helpfully, Enterprise Zone status allows short-cutting of normal planning procedures.
The public consultation was a 'strategy', with adverts around the city centre and in buses, also that one questionnaire last February that asked if people wanted a new bus station. So Kevin Doyle implied no need to consult cyclists or bus users further. Public consultation that had been scheduled from 9th December has been quietly shelved. The highly paid consultant designers will do the job and get it quickly through planning, to start building in October.
The Council is still set on a Convention Centre - scaled up with five-fold exhibition space (not the best intensive use of city centre space). So they won't use the WMail&Echo site for the Financial firm, but will close down the bus station early, to suit them. Kevin Doyle claimed woodenly that as the new bus station is a major construction, it's "not possible" to build it while operating in and out of the current bus station. They don't need consultants to tell them "not possible", naturally.
Evidently Central Square’s redevelopment is determined by the desire to meet demands of Finance Companies for a 10-12 storey, 230,000sq ft office block, towering over a small triangular public space. The companies are said to be “two of Cardiff’s biggest employers” **, so apparently take priority over bus services and bus users, despite the claim on Sustainable Travel City funds.
Bute Park winter access
For the rest of the winter cyclists can cross Bute Park in the Dark
The three month trial to keep two gates into Bute Park open till 7pm has been a success. The survey is open till 9 January but early results show that more people are walking across in the dark than cycling, that all users are really pleased to have this facility and most are critical of the poor signage which does not let people know about the later locking and which gates are kept open after dark. The two gates are the one by the new concert hall of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the one on Sophia Gardens Bridge.
Following a meeting with interested parties just before Christmas the Head of Parks, Jon Maidment, decided that the later locking at 7pm would be continued into the New Year until the clocks go forward. He will hold a further meeting in mid January to discuss the practicalities of paying two security wardens to monitor the gates and lock them at 7pm. There have been no incidents at all but the Police representative said he thought that was because the secuity guards were there and gave people confidence.
The survey of cycle and walking commuters has now closed and the results will be analysed by the Council. Early results show that most people heard about 'crossing the park in the dark' via word of mouth and workplace intranet emails. The signage has been inadequate and contradictory and the Council Parks Services are looking into putting proper clear signs up soon.
Bus station re-development - cycle access
Here's a copy of a letter which the campaign has sent to the council, re the recently adopted plans for the bus station development:-
Central Square and adjacent development area
The Cardiff Cycling Campaign urges that the Executive plans as approved last week are called in for scrutiny by the Committee.
We are aware that in your report on issue of a new bus station, the Committee did decide that cyclists did not need to be accommodated within the limited area foreseen for it. We agree that accomodating cyling within the bus station would be unneccesary. However, we are dismayed that decision appears to have been extended to ignore cycling provisions throughout the plans.
We would point out there is a need to accommodate considerable cycle traffic in this crucial area for access to the city centre, as well as to the transport interchange.
# between the Wood St bridge and Saunders Rd (for the Bute Terrace and Butetown routes) as well as St Mary Street (for the north-south route as well as central shops)
# access to cycle parking for transfer to buses, coaches and trains, as well as taking cycles on trains
The key pinch points in the layout as publicised are –
- from the west, Wood St to the station frontage (where commercial offices protrude onto existing highway instead of being set back from the previous development line) and
- from the east where buses could take all the space on the Saunders Rd and St Mary's Street routes. Practical solutions need demonstrating as these are also key for both cycle and pedestrian flows.
We hope the Committee will share our concern that prohibiting cycling from these key routes will lead to the same conflict seen elsewhere, where numbers of cyclists ignore the prohibiting. Better to design for the cycling flows that will take place.
In addition there appears to be available space for expanded cycle parking, to levels befitting a sustainable transport city, at the east of the railway station (Saunders Rd), the area currently used by taxis appears vacant and unallocated in the plans.
This would also be an excellent opportunity and location for a proper site for cycle hire - a hire and service business – as is appropriate for a city wishing to promote cycling. With the demise of OY Bikes, let's make space for a quality service that really sends a message to citizens and visitors that Cardiff is serious about sustainable transport.
Chairman - Cardiff Cycling Campaign
Proposed Highways & Transport (Wales) Bill
At the last Cardiff Cycling Campaign meeting, Sustrans Wales director Lee
Waters introduced the proposed Welsh Government “Highways
and Transport (Wales) Bill, which will place a duty on highway
authorities to develop and maintain networks of paths for walking
and cycling. There is a commitment to 5% of transport budgets to
support sustainable transport in this way.
Lee explained that this is a ‘flagship’ bill that is likely to gain all-
Party support, but there are issues for local government and
cycling that need to be worked on between now and 2013, with
consultations to shape the Bill.
The paths will not be just traffic free but part of a mixed approach,
Lee said, referring to the recent “Understanding Walking and
Cycling” publication that calls for better dedicated facilities for
cyclists. This was not about arguments between segregation and
on-road cycling however.
Lee understood that there is a range of attitudes from the
disability lobby, from opposition from Guide Dogs for the Blind for
example to enthusiastic support from Pedal Power, recognising the
benefits for many.
We had a lively discussion about the proposed Bill, about the
purpose of making cycling mainstream, adopting and applying
good design standards, changing the culture and practice in
highway authorities, reinforcing learnt experiences in shared space
and application of the Manual for Streets.
The Bill is expected to be incremental and may include
retrospective actions on existing networks, compulsory purchase,
and influencing road schemes at the earliest possible stages.
The draft bill will be published in the Spring. Lee encouraged us
to keep in touch, as others, and to make sure commitments are
made in the May 2012 Council elections.
Ely Trail route development
The campaign has been contacted by Cardiff city council to comment on a plan to add ramps to the footbridge between Cowbridge Rd E and Sanatorium Rd, near Victoria park. We replied that we'd rather see the money spent on opening a temporary route through the old paper mill site, where the trail is intended to go when the site is developed for housing (which may be some time in the current financial climate). Campaign members have found that there is already a continuous path from Sanatorium Rd through the site to Ely bridge, already fenced on one side, and easily (cheaply) adaptable as a cycle route until the developement takes place. We also informed that council that the planned footbridge ramps would be unsuitable for use by many leisure cyclists, and that limited cycling budgets should not be spent on this temporary and not very useful scheme.
The campaign are also trying to get a bridge built across the river from Sanatorium Gardens to Trelai park (where there is currently a pipe bridge), which would provide another possible route for the Ely trail. It is hoped that a soon to be redundant bridge on the bay barrage path near the Norwegian church will be moved here, and that a feasability study for this project will be funded shortly.
Challenge for change
The Cardiff cycle campaign will be giving local stakeholder support to this initiative.
Challenge for change is an initiative begun in New Zealand. It aims to get onto bicycles people who do not normally cycle. The distance cycled may be as short as across a car park, or long as across a county. Each City's challenge runs for 12 months, with a three week focus period when the 'Challenge for change' people are in town. During this period they organise making bicycles available for the Challenge. The Cardiff Cycle Challenge will involve a bid to Environment Wales for funds to facilitate.
More information is available at http://www.challengeforchange.com/home
Pont y Werin Bridge
This prestigious bridge opened in July 2010. It provides a leisure route around Cardiff Bay and provides an off-road route between Penarth and Cardiff, although the cycle links on either side are poor. Cardiff Cycling Campaign and the Vale Cyclists are working with both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Cardiff Council to improve access to Penarth and into the Vale of Glamorgan.
Bute Park entrance opposite Corbett Road
The new entrance is hazardous to cyclists on the cycle path as the new entrance to Bute Park is so wide. The hazard of vehicles entering and leaving is inadequate. We are working on improving this - in the meantime cyclists look out for traffic coming in and out of the entrance.
Cardiff Cycling Campaign originated in discussions around Friends of the Earth and others, during 1987 and 1988. At one time it was a "Cycle Planning Group", at another time it was "Friends of the Bike". The first campaign event (a bike ride around the city and Cardiff Bay) was in September 1987.
The first newsletter was published in 1989.