Cardiff Council have announced the plans for the latest section of cycleway to be built. It’s the second section of Cycleway 1, the first section being the newly opened route on Sengennedd Rd. The proposed scheme will run along King George V Drive, Allensbank Road, Whitchurch Road and Cathays Terrace, eventually linking the city centre with the Heath Hospital, via Cardiff University’s Cathays campus.
Cycleway 1 will eventually reach all the way out to the new housing development between Lisvane and Pontprennau.
The consultation will close on 31 July 2020 so you don’t haven’t already done so, please complete the consultation survey HERE (but make sure you finish reading this post first!)
Glancing through the consultation pack, which can be found HERE, it’s quickly apparent that this is quite an ambitious scheme. The cycleway is separated from motor traffic along its entire length, and there are only a couple of short sections that are shared with pedestrians (which we’ll come to later).
The Council are also describing this as a “traffic management scheme” rather than a cycling scheme. This is good for a couple of reasons: it acknowledges that cycling is a valid mode of transport, and it also allows them to make other transport-related adjustments as part of the scheme, such as car parking, filtering through traffic, and public transport provision.
In the past when the Council has consulted on these schemes Cardiff Cycle City have had open meetings to allow our followers to come and discuss the plans with us. Also invited are the planners from the council, who are on hand to field any specific questions. This time, however, it hasn’t been possible to arrange this, due to obvious Covid-19 restrictions.
Therefore our committee have had extensive online discussions to agree our response to the Council, a few of the main points can be read below. We would encourage our followers, if they agree with them, to include these with their personal responses:
- King George V Drive junction: the two crossings on Allensbank Rd could be confusing for cyclists heading towards the hospital. A diagonal crossing would make more sense here.
- Bus Stops on Allensbank Road: taking on the restrictions of space and cemetery wall cyclists still need to be able to move unimpeded along this section for the majority of the time when there is no bus present. A distinct cycleway, or a clearly marked cycling desire line, is needed rather than shared area, with NO street furniture clutter. The bus shelter should be positioned away from the cycle desire line, with either open or clear sides, with NO advertising boards blocking sight-lines at either end. There should also be clear signage for cyclists to be prepared to stop & wait if people are getting on or off a bus.
- Allensbank Rd: the continuous footway crossings at side roads are welcomed, as is the closure of Llanishen St to motor traffic. However, there does not seem to be any method for people to access the side roads, other than Llanishen St, from the cycleway. A dropped kerb and waiting area may be required at these places.
- Whitchurch Road Crossing: the crossing times need be monitored for waiting time for cycles. Due to the proximity of the junction with Cathays Terrace/Allensbank Rd cars may be prioritised due to fears that motor traffic will back up and block the junctions. If there is any doubt, timings should always benefit cycling in order to encourage compliance.
- Whitchurch Road Bus Stop is excellent and looks like best practice from London has been followed. Da iawn
- Junction of Whitchurch Rd & Cathays Terrace: it’s unclear how cyclists join the cycleway when coming south from Fairoak Rd. Using the toucan crossings will be inconvenient and could lead to people risking crossing through traffic. The same thing applies in the opposite direction when people want to go straight on from Cathays Terrace to Fairoak Rd. Could there be a Cyclops design used here?
- Cathays Terrace: again, the continuous footway crossings at side roads are welcomed, however, it is essential that the side roads that are closed to motor traffic are filtered to enable access for cyclists from the cycleway, with minimal conflict with pedestrians.
- Catherine St junction: as with the junction on Whitchurch Rd, the crossing times need be monitored for waiting time for cycles. If there is any doubt, timings should always benefit cycling in order to encourage compliance.
- Maindy Road Junction: it will be difficult for cyclists to access Maindy Rd from the cycleway, particularly when travelling south. The solution would be to set back the table to the south of the junction and provide a zebra crossing. This would also allow cyclists to easily join the cycleway when approaching from the direction of Park Place
- Wayfinding/Signage: there needs to be clear indication of the separation of walking & cycling space to prevent conflict. At all relevant places there should be signage indicating safe, direct routes to places of interest away from the cycleway. An example of this would be to direct people down Llanishen St to access Whitchurch Rd high street shops.
- At every set of lights there needs to be an induction loop to detect approaching cycles, or (better) the crossings default to green for cycles. Waiting times need to be minimised otherwise cyclists will just use the road, defeating the object of the scheme.
- Woodville Road/Senghennydd Road: cyclists travelling south on Woodville Rd have to cross Senghennydd Rd at a 90-degree turn/blind bend to join either the Senghennydd Rd Cycleway, or to access the new cycleway on Cathays Terrace. This is a significant hazard. If within scope of this scheme then there should be a modal filter installed at this location.
If anyone has more suggestions then feel free to leave a comment in the box below!