Fears cycle ‘highway’ doesn’t go far enough
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.”