We were joined on Thursday by Cardiff councillor and cabinet member for strategic planning & transport, Caro Wild. This was a bit of a coup as if there is anyone who can influence transport strategy in Cardiff then it is him.
For those who are unaware, Caro is one of the founding members of Cardiff Cycle City, so he understands our aim to make Cardiff the best cycling city in the UK. He also understands the challenges involved in making this happen, which is why he’s keen to work with us from the outset to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.
He’s only been in post since the recent election in May so the main point of his attendance was to advise us of the current situation within the council and to gain some idea of what we can do to help.
It was suggested by Caro that he come to our meetings on an occasional basis in order to keep a dialogue open between the council and ourselves. We will make his attendance known in advance so we can compile a list of questions for him!
This is a summary of things that were discussed.
- Cycling strategy – the council received huge amounts of feedback – one of the most consulted strategies ever – and would like to talk about what we do next. Potential for further input from us before submission to Welsh Government – another event perhaps & CCC launch?
- Cycling superhighways – Caro explained that they cost £1m per km, so using different pots of money;
- Bike hire scheme – preferred operator chosen, working on model. City bike hire has moved on significantly recently with technology allowing dock-less schemes to become more popular;
- Transport interchange – still 500 spaces but Caro doesn’t think that is enough. Room for 200 more outside. Concern in the press that it might be under threat, but Caro insists it is still on the plans;
- Taff Trail – Sustrans are conducting a scoping exercise on improvements to the Taff Trail. Capital budget increased;
- 20mph – being rolled out in phases;
- Car free day – not announced yet, but they want to do it properly but won’t have time for September. Aiming for a bigger scale event for Spring with a view to it becoming a regular thing. However, need to get messaging right about why roads are being closed. Suggested an organic alternative – get schools to sign up to it – school exclusion zones etc –getting biggest employers involved. Getting the critical mass is difficult for mass rides. Suggest looking at the Detroit Slow Roll and the Boston Bike Party for inspiration.
There are a number of things that Cardiff Cycle City are involved in; things that are in the early stages of talks so there aren’t many details. More information will be communicated when we have it.
- Close pass initiative – we have been in contact with Alun Michael to discuss implementing the initiative across South Wales.
- Residential Bike Storage – landlords have been inquiring into the possibility of the council providing secure bike storage, such as the Cyclehoop Bike Hanger, after requests from tenants in residential streets.
- HSBC UK City Ride – route is disappointing, but no further news and the council doesn’t appear to have been approached.