Getting more people in Cardiff to choose to cycle rather than drive can make a major contribution to meeting many of the council’s key priorities and legal obligations. It will also make life better for all our citizens.
Cycling is virtually zero carbon, every two mile journey made on a bike rather than in a car saves between .56 and .82 of a kilo of carbon.1 Significantly increasing levels of cycling will make it much more likely that the council will reach its net zero carbon target.
Cardiff has major problems with air quality. Road traffic is the main cause of air pollution. Every journey made by bike rather than car reduces the harmful chemicals entering our children’s lungs. Air pollution is bad for all of us and is estimated to cause 5% of deaths in Cardiff and the Vale.2 Cycling also has major benefits for people’s mental and physical health. Physical inactivity is bad for us, yet our car-based transport system encourages a sedentary lifestyle. Getting more people active by getting them on bikes would also help relieve the strain on our health service.
With the massive new housing developments taking place in our city, our roads simply could not accommodate all the traffic that would be generated if the new residents chose to drive. It is imperative that we have high quality cycle infrastructure in place in all these new estates, with links to the centre, to encourage people to use sustainable transport.
On top of all this, enabling more people to cycle is popular. The Bike Life report produced jointly by the council and Sustrans in 2019 showed that two out of three Cardiff residents think more cycling would make their area a better place to live and work.3
- The council should commit to making walking, cycling and public transport the default ways of getting about our city.
- We believe the council should aim for 20% of all journeys to be made by bike by 2030 with annual progress reports.
- The council should act as an exemplar by encouraging and enabling all its employees to cycle and providing the facilities needed to make this happen, encouraging other employers to do likewise. The public should be encouraged to access all council services by bike, and this should be made as convenient as possible. There should be cycle awareness training for all drivers of council vehicles.
- There should be recognition of the potential of the cycle, particularly adaptive bikes, trikes and ebikes to provide independence for disabled and elderly people.
- There needs to be significant investment in the team of council staff required to deliver increases in active travel.
- Installation of a network of street located cycle hangars to provide secure cycle parking for residents whose homes do not have suitable storage space.
- Cycle theft in Cardiff is a major deterrent to cycling in the city. There is an urgent need for secure cycle parking that will allow people to safely park their bikes whilst they access shops and services in the city. This is particularly the case for riders of e-bikes, which can cost several thousand pounds.
- Strengthen provisions in planning regulations to ensure all new developments provide high levels of cycle parking, which, wherever possible, should be covered and secure.
- Accelerated delivery of a comprehensive network of protected cycle ways. Wherever possible, these should not be shared use as this can give rise to conflict between pedestrians and cyclists.
- Recognition that we will only be able to attract new people on to bikes if safe infrastructure is available for all of their journey. This should be a key consideration in the phasing of cycleway construction.
- An accelerated roll out of 20mph zones throughout the city.
- Take action to ban pavement parking, with appropriate enforcement.
- Proper enforcement of cycle lanes to prevent parking on them.
- There should be routine maintenance of all cycle paths, in the way there is for roads, including regular leaf sweeping, cutting back of overhanging vegetation, snow and ice clearance and repair of damaged surfaces.
- Cycling infrastructure connecting to all key local services and the city centre should be in place on all new developments before people move in.
- Increased use of filtered permeability and the development of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.
- We would like to see an explicit commitment to the creation of more twenty-minute neighbourhoods, where key services are within easy walking and cycling distance of people’s homes.
- Creation of Green lanes to allow Pedestrians and cyclists to safely access surrounding villages and countryside.
- The timings of traffic lights controlling crossings should be revised to give greater priority to walkers and people on bikes.
- Proper consideration must be given to peak time usage when determining cycle path and footpath widths, particularly around schools.
- To encourage new people to ride bikes we need a comprehensive system of cycling wayfinding signs indicating the safest direct route to key destinations, incorporating the number of minutes the cycled journey will take.
- The council should use its social media and advertising to positively promote journeys by bike and to raise drivers’ awareness of how they can drive in a manner that allows pedestrians and bike riders to feel safe on and around the city’s roads.
- The council should ensure there is an effective online cycle route finder, allowing people in the city to plan a route to any destination utilising dedicated cycle infrastructure and quieter streets.
- Cardiff’s successful School Streets programmes, where streets near schools are closed to all but residents’ cars at school start and finish times, should be expanded to as many schools as possible.
- Every child should be offered cycle training in school to National Standard for Cycle Training Level 2, with access to bikes for those children without.
- Better advertising of the council’s offer of free training for adult bike riders.
Integration with Public Transport
- All metro plans in the city to be fully integrated with cycling. Any on street tramlines must not pose a danger to people on bikes.
- Cardiff Bus should adopt pro-cycling policies including cycle parking at bus stops and interchanges and cycle awareness training for drivers.
- All park and ride facilities should be linked to cycle routes and offer secure cycle parking.
- The OVO bike hire scheme must be protected and expanded with increased provision of electric bikes, particularly in the outlying parts of the city. Payment for OVO bikes should be a facility on any public transport payment cards.
- Maximise the use of cargo bikes and e-cargo bikes particularly for ‘last mile’ deliveries, with the aim of reducing the numbers of HGVs driving through our communities.
- Dependent on the size and type of car. See: https://www.carbonindependent.org/17.html
- Moving forwards: Healthy travel for all in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff & the Vale UHB, p 13.