We launched the manifesto over a year ago now. Truth be told, things have been fairly quiet since then, as Cardiff has taken its first steps along its post-Active Travel Act journey.
We’ve got an existing route map now, or, what you could call an active travel shakedown, as it identified just how little of our infrastructure is up to scratch. We now have to hold tight until the proposed route map, or “Integrated network map” is published in 2017.
NEW 20MPH ZONES ARE ON THE WAY…
In the meantime, one of the points on our manifesto —20mph zones, is starting to bear fruit. Councillor Ramesh Patel has announced that a budget has been set aside and plans are being developed for more 20mph areas, to add to the existing ones in Cathays and Roath.
Canton and Riverside look to be next on the cards, but Cardiff Council has yet to publish any concrete plans. We’ll keep you posted as more information is uncovered.
THE ASK CARDIFF REPORT
This week we have been taking time to digest the transport section of the Ask Cardiff report. It doesn’t appear to contain any huge surprises, but it does shine a light on some of the issues we cyclists face in different parts of Cardiff. Whilst a surprising number of people are happy with the cycle infrastructure, the majority are not. However, one thing we may not have considered is how provision varies across the city. Cardiff East, for example fares poorly compared to central Cardiff. Before we get into that, let’s take a quick look at some of the findings.
Satisfaction was lowest for cycling facilities, with just 37.7% of respondents stating they were ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied. There is however a continuing upward trend from 33.8% in 2014 and 28.1% in 2013.
Correct us if we are wrong, but development of cycling facilities around Cardiff has been fairly stagnant for a while now, so how do we explain the slight upswing in satisfaction?
It could be simply that we have more people taking to their bikes right now, many of whom may not have the same expectations or strong opinions that the “old guard” may have.
It could also be that we developed some sort of bike-related Stockholm Syndrome…
However, they do drill down a little further on this.
City and Cardiff South was the only area where over half of the respondents were satisfied with cycling facilities (51.4%). This contrasted with just 28.5% of residents living in Cardiff East where 29.0% were ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ dissatisfied.
We’re not really surprised that the East of Cardiff is unhappy with cycling facilities. Having spent some time riding around there, we’re not convinced that there are any cycling facilities.
One area for concern, however is the number of people whom feel unsafe cycling in Cardiff. This is an enduring problem and, whilst we hope that the expansion of 20mph zones will help to alleviate this problem, messaging is equally important.
More than half of those offering an opinion (56.2%) stated they did not feel safe when cycling in Cardiff. Just one in twenty (4.9%) described themselves as feeling ‘very safe’.
Statistically speaking, cycling is very safe. According to the CTC one cyclist is killed on Britain’s roads for every 27 million miles travelled by cycle – the equivalent to over 1,000 times around the world. Yes, there is an element of risk, but the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and the effect of air pollution is arguably much greater.
IT’S ELECTION TIME!
The Assembly Elections in May are fast approaching, so you’ll be pleased to know that we are working to keep cycling firmly in the minds of candidates.
Yes, we know that the continuous improvement of cycling facilities is enshrined in law here in Wales, but we can’t rest on our laurels, nor let a new government kick us into the long grass.
So, we’ve invited all of the major parties to a hustings event at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.
If you would like to come along to take part, or even just watch, you can get a free ticket from Eventbrite here.
It’s on 5th April 2016 at 7pm and doors open at 6pm. There is bike parking around the Millennium Centre, but the number 6 (the bendy bus) stops right outside and the train station is only a short walk away.
We look forward to seeing you there.