Earlier today we posted to Twitter a new transport project that Cardiff Council are consulting on. It is probably fair to say that the feedback was overwhelmingly negative.
So, what is it?
The plan is to put a south-bound bus lane at the Cowbridge Road end of Cathedral Road, with a north-bound 1.5m wide cycle lane heading north. It would however be an advisory cycle lane, so without enforcement just as it has on Wellington Street, it becomes a parking lane. As the council put it:
A cycle lane is part of the road, which is intended specifically for cyclists to use. In order to allow comfortable use by cyclists, including those using trailers and cycles/tricycles used by disabled people, cycle lanes should normally be 1.5m wide and is generally identified by a red coloured surface. Advisory traffic lanes are primarily used to warn motorists of the possible presence of cyclists, and to encourage motorists to adopt a line of travel away from the kerb. However it is permissible for motor vehicles to stray into advisory cycle lanes.
So, just as you see frequently on James St in Cardiff Bay, people will park in these lanes and they’ll also stray into them with impunity. Confident cyclists only, then.
Confusingly, as was pointed out on Twitter, there is a perfectly good shared-use path running parallel to Cathedral Road –the Taff Trail…
— Dave Griffiths 🏴 (@davegriffiths) September 25, 2015
The scheme will also include changes to some of the crossings on Cathedral Road, as well as some of the build-outs at Talbot and Hamilton Street.
Whilst we’re happy to accept more cycle infrastructure, I don’t think we should accept bad infrastructure and, on their current trajectory, Cardiff Council appears to be set on these fundamentally compromised piecemeal projects.
Perhaps most frustrating of all, with a few exceptions, most cities in the UK are steaming ahead with 20mph zones and super-highways and all-sorts. There’s a lot of political will behind sustainable transport in Wales –the Active Travel Act and the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act are in place and give the council little room to wriggle out of facilitating a modal shift in transport choices, but they do need the input of us two-wheeled folk.
Hatching a plan
The great feedback we received gave us an idea. Whilst it would be great if you made contact with the council yourselves, if you don’t want to and would feel more comfortable commenting on the project in the box below, we’ll compile the responses and draft a letter/email on your behalf.
Please try to keep the comments constructive and, if possible, include ideas for improvement. I would imagine that as is the usual story with these consultations, they’ll happen whether they are wanted or not. However, we do have an opportunity to refine some of the details. You know how these things work –you don’t ask, you don’t get.
If it works, we’ll keep doing it.