Heading east from the centre of Cardiff presents an interesting challenge right now. There is no particularly nice way to go, whether that is on Newport Road; through Roath and Llanishen or by running the gauntlet along Ocean Way.
Following on from our East-West challenge it’s time to pick apart some of the options. Newport Road is always horrendously busy and Roath and Llanishen is quite a hilly way to go. However, Ocean Way represents an alternative. At least in theory.
In practice it’s not much of an improvement. Whilst Newport Road has half a dozen lanes in some places, including bus lanes, Ocean Way is a two-way road that at most times during the day is shared with articulated lorries, vans and rat-runners trying to get into and out-of-town.
We are aware of a number of people who’ve had frightening experiences along Ocean Way, mostly as a result of the traffic islands that catch drivers out, forcing them to abort their overtake and either cut closely in front or onto you. It also backs up for miles at rush hour.
Unless you need to access something on that road, it is definitely worth avoiding.
OK, explain how…
First things first, let’s get the access question out-of-the-way. Many of the businesses on Ocean Way can be accessed by back roads that start not far from the Magic Roundabout. There is East Moors Road to the one side and Lewis Road, leading to Portmanmoor Road on the other.
However, if you do want to get to the other end to either take the Wentloog Road or head into Llanrumney there’s a route we’ve talked about before in our Avoiding Rover Way post. Fortunately this route also bypasses the Beresford Road bridge, which is currently closed for the electrification of the main railway line.
In the context of our East-West challenge, this is probably not a great way to reach Pontprennau, but great for reaching St Mellons.
The Magic Roundabout
Of course, there is a roundabout-shaped elephant in the room here. The Magic Roundabout is horrendous on a bike –truly a work of unspeakable evil. The Lord Voldemort of roundabouts, if you will (HA, the Dark Magic Roundabout..).
Fortunately there are plans in place to change things a little as part of the Safer Splott Neighbourhood Renewal Scheme. This will include cycle lanes, CCTV and a few other additions.
The Safer Splott Neighbourhood Renewal Scheme (or Splott Regeneration Project as it’s more commonly known) proposes to add lighting, install CCTV cameras, create dedicated cycle paths, fix paving and fence off a sub-station in an effort to stop bad behaviour by the Magic Roundabout.
That being said, providing you are not wanting to go straight on at the roundabout-o-doom to access a business along Ocean Way, you can take a left down Sanquhar Street followed by a right anywhere between Ordell Street and Cameron Street.
We will talk about the Newport Road and Llanishen options in a future post.
Finally, if you need to make a journey from the centre of Cardiff to the east and none of the options seem palatable, your councillor definitely needs to know. Drop them an email and tell them. If that doesn’t work, some people are trying the petition approach, such as this one asking for a safe route to Ysgol Pwll Coch.