Fears cy­cle ‘high­way’ doesn’t go far enough

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

THE coun­cil’s pro­posed de­signs for the first sec­tion of Cardiff’s Cy­cle Su­per­high­way Net­work have raised con­cerns among cy­clists.

The de­signs show a 1km stretch of fully seg­re­gated in­fra­struc­ture run­ning from St An­drew’s Cres­cent along St An­drew’s Place and Senghen­nydd Road.

Cy­clists are con­cerned about the lim­its of the pro­pos­als, sug­gest­ing that the ob­jec­tive to en­cour­age more peo­ple to cy­cle in the city will only work if the net­work was to ex­pand.

Cy­cling blog­ger Freddy White, 24, said: “I think it’s a good start and a nice state­ment of in­tent. How­ever, at the mo­ment it’s too lim­it­ing as it’s not part of a wider net­work, so it won’t pro­vide safe routes for ner­vous rid­ers.

“My con­cern is that the lim­ited ‘trial’ seg­ments won’t see a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in rider num­bers and the whole pro­ject will be canned be­fore it cre­ates a net­work which would al­low ner­vous/ young/fam­ily rid­ers to get on their bikes.

“In the longer term I’m con­cerned the coun­cil will try and make cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture fit around roads, rather than treat­ing it as a ded­i­cated al­ter­na­tive to driv­ing. If all of the five su­per­high­ways sketched out in the longert­erm plan get built, I think we could see sig­nif­i­cantly more cy­clists in Cardiff.”

Chris Roberts, from Llan­ishen, has been cy­cling to work for 12 years. He said: “The high­ways are a really ex­cit­ing devel­op­ment and great news for the city. They send an im­por­tant mes­sage that Cardiff takes cy­cling se­ri­ously.”

How­ever, the 60-year-old said: “The cy­cle path plans won’t achieve their full po­ten­tial un­til we have a wider net­work that al­lows peo­ple to cy­cle safely from their front door to the new high­ways.

“We know there are lots of peo­ple in Cardiff who would like to leave their cars at home and get on their bikes, but they’re wary of rid­ing in traf­fic be­cause they think it’s not safe. We des­per­ately need to pro­vide safe cy­cle routes for these peo­ple.”

Cardiff-based cy­cling char­ity Pedal Power said it was a step in the right di­rec­tion but was con­cerned that the needs of dis­abled cy­clists would not be met.

Pedal Power direc­tor Sian Dono­van said: “Ob­vi­ously we are de­lighted that there is an in­vest­ment in cy­cling in Cardiff. How­ever, from our view­point of pro­mot­ing in­clu­sive cy­cling, we do have con­cerns that the needs of dis­abled cy­clists are not be­ing con­sid­ered.

“We have a few ques­tions that we need an­swers to. Is the route wide enough for trikes or hand bikes? Is there a drop curb at end and start points of jour­neys, ie next to bike park­ing? Is the bike park­ing able to be used by adap­tive bikes?

“A whole-sys­tem plan­ning is re­quired to meet the needs of all.”

How­ever, road safety char­ity Brake be­lieves the net­work is a good step for­ward for pro­tect­ing cy­clists.

A spokesper­son for the char­ity said: “Brake wel­comes the an­nounce­ment of these cy­cle su­per­high­ways for Cardiff.

“It is cru­cial that more is done to pro­tect the safety of cy­clists and schemes like this, with seg­re­gated cy­cle lanes, will help cre­ate a road en­vi­ron­ment where far more peo­ple feel safe to cy­cle, ben­e­fit­ing per­sonal health, re­duc­ing air pol­lu­tion and pro­vid­ing a cheap form of trans­port for all.”

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