The police have a big impact on cycling. We all want to feel safer when cycling on the roads and be able to park our bike knowing that it will still be there when we get back.

Last year, Cardiff Cycle City held a very successful meeting with the new Chief Constable of South Wales who pledged his support for a range of measures to help improve cycling in Cardiff. So we invited South Wales Police to come back and update us on the progress they are making.

South Wales Police

Steve and Mike from Crime Prevention opened the session with a pile of broken and damaged locks. They had some recommendations for keeping your bikes secure at home and whilst out:

  • Use Gold Standard ‘D’ locks particularly when locking up in town or at night at home in garages
  • Get ground anchor bolts for up-and-over garage doors.
  • Register bikes on Immobilise.com
  • Get a bike alarm or extend a house alarm to a garage, or get a separate garage alarm.

Reminders to:  set Strava and other cycle computers to not record within 50 metres of where you live or store your bike.

Think about where you park and lock your cycle – look for places where lots of people are passing by, make it more difficult for people to take your bike and they will move on to someone elses.

Be Aware;  your bike can be ‘spotted’ as desirable.

And, there are NO figures available (via immobilise or elsewhere) on who gets reunited with their stolen bicycle !

GoSafe Wales

Teresa Ciano talked about Operation SNAP and the Close Pass initiative, plus she gave us all a nice free pen.

She started with some facts:

  • The 20mph limit cannot routinely be enforced, therefore nothing is done.
  • However, if speeding is regularly occurring e.g. outside a school then GoSafe may be able to target that area.
  • 20mph limits are designed to be self-enforcing (there’s another discussion to be had here about street infrastructure and design)
  • There HAS to be evidence of speeding
  • GoSafe Wales will only target resources where they can have an influence/effect positive change

Questions & discussion

Why don’t GoSafe reply to people who have submitted reports? It can be disheartening to go through the process of uploading video without any knowledge of whether the offender has been dealt with.

  • During the pilot scheme GoSafe did respond/report back, but after the introduction of GDPR regulation legal advice is not to report, as until the case goes through Court process it is not for public record – Data protection applies. There  is also the matter of limited resources.

How would GoSAfe define a Close Pass?

  • Prior to any prosecution GoSafe will look at the context; speed of traffic, highway code violations, road environment, etc. We can put people onto driver education courses or visit them to have a conversation “were you aware?”

West Midlands Police make a LOT of noise about Operation Close Pass through social and other media and this heightens the notion that car drivers behaviours are being monitored/watched and possibly recorded with potential consequences for drivers.  Why isn’t Close Pass being given this priority/profile in Wales?

  • The way Road Safety is being funded may change in future, and WM Police have great twitter feed, telling people they are doing it and communicating this very well.  Please lobby the Police and Crime Commissioner on this issue and Road Safety generally. New P&CC nomination/election process is coming up soon, so great opportunity to get commitment. 

Can there be better communication between the Police and the Local Authorities?  E.g. there are FOUR different types of road markings outside Severn Road Primary School. The police looked at what could be done, but 18 months later there is still confusion.  The School has bought some of the Little People Signs, which some motorist has run over! There have been incidences of fatalities on Cowbridge Road and this area/school is particularly vulnerable.

  • This depends on how the LA bids for money from different sources – but Construction/Design/Engineering don’t necessarily join up, so we end up with the sorts of situations described.

Its understandable being asked to video our travelling by bike, but having to go through footage and relive horrible moments is unnerving. Concentrating on the bad things makes people less confident about cycling on roads.

  • You are encouraged to report incidents through the Go-Safe Wales web-site accompanied by video or photographic evidence, BUT not to overdo this. In the past we’ve had 14 minor reports a day, which are too many! It is not focussed or helpful and end up with officers spending unnecessary time in courts!

Mobile phone use by motorised vehicle users is terrible

  • Please report it. If people get away with risky behaviour they are going to continue the behaviour.  Enforcement is again, difficult, but use of mobile phones whilst driving is a hot topic. The issue has to become socially unacceptable and we have a responsibility to the younger generation to educate them

The Judicial system has a different set of values in relation to motoring versus other offences. 10,000 drivers on the roads have more than 12 points on their licence – the judicial system therefore says having a car to get around is more important than people’s lives.

  • This comes under Parliamentary Advisory Council remit and needs to be highlighted on politicians agenda’s.

Do you have any comments on these discussions? You can share them with us by using the form below.

Cardiff Cycle City is run by volunteers. If you have any time or skills that you think would benefit our cause then please get in touch!

One thought on “Cycling update, with South Wales Police and GoSafe Wales

  1. When are they going to address cyclists with no lights in winter? The worst offenders are kids and couriers. The amount you nearly run over is ridiculous and I have perfect vision

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