The Parties Respond
Our manifesto is having an impact! We sent a copy to all sitting councillors asking them to support our programme for making Cardiff the best city for cycling in the UK, and we’ve had these responses from the political parties.
We would, of course, be happy to publish any other responses we receive before polling day on May 5th.
Click below on the name of the party to see their response:
Plaid Cymru/Green Party Common Ground Alliance
The Plaid Cymru/Green Party Common Ground Alliance is naturally very happy to endorse Cardiff Cycle City’s Manifesto. As with many other campaigning groups in the city they have influenced our own manifesto.
We have looked to incorporate the key principles of those who are lobbying for progressive change in the city, and as an Alliance that is prioritizing environmental and social justice for all of Cardiff, the manifesto embodies many of our own priorities.
In particular we have committed to the delivery of a comprehensive network of protected cycle ways that connects Cardiff sensibly, rather than the current situation that sometimes pleases no one and indeed angers many. This commitment is part of a wider ideal that puts the principle of 20 minute communities at the heart of our vision, where we plan on the basis that everyone should be able to access their local high street and amenities via a safe, clean 20 minute walk or cycle.
In order to work towards this ideal we have a big focus in our manifesto on reforming planning procedures in the city to put citizens’ and not developers’ needs first, whilst setting out key principles for the new Local Development Plan that simply must be changed if Cardiff is to be a thriving, clean, green city in future.
We want to see Cardiff become a city for communities, and safe cycle ways are key to this, as one part of the wider, sweeping change Cardiff needs.’
I am pleased that in our Cardiff Conservatives manifesto, published this week, we have a section on Moving Around the Capital”. For cycling we would specifically:
“Improve secure cycle storage (including cargo cycle) facilities across Cardiff’s district and local centres. Work with car parks to explore secure undercover cycle parking to enable residents to use active travel choices for city centre visits”.
I was particular pleased to see mention of cargo cycling in your manifesto as I believe this could be a strong area of growth within the city and that, to date, the Council has done little which is specifically directed at cargo cycling.
With best wishes,
Leader of the Opposition
Welsh Liberal Democrats
Thank you for the opportunity to reply to your manifesto for our city. The Welsh Liberal Democrats support the generally principles of your manifesto and many of your ideas align with our own manifesto.
Welsh Liberal Democrats have always been a party committed to protecting the environment and tackling pollution. At different levels of government we have called for more ambitious targets, funding and pushed local and nation governments to lead by example. We believe that we need to reduce out dependency on the private car and want to see more people enabled to use a bike safely in our city. Our city is not geographically large and we agreed with you that walking, cycling and using public transport should be the default position for most people in our city, and we need investment and infrastructure to make that a reality.
Like yourselves we believe that we need the infrastructure necessary to make active travel a reality for all. We need safe cycle parking for the public, restrictions on pavement parking and dropped kerbs. We need employers to be providing showers and secure parking for their showers to enable cycling.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats want to see the cycle lane network increase across our city, not only focussed on the cycle highways. We need safe routes for children to cycle to school across the city and believe there are large parts of our city where we could achieve some quick wins. We accept that there should be a realignment of road space from private car to cycling, but we disagree with the current council’s position of removing bus lanes in certain parts of our city.
In our 2022 manifesto – ‘Green, fairer, safer Cardiff’ – we make the following commitments on Transport which we think align well with your own manifesto:
A Liberal Democrat council would:
- Prioritise public transport – We will work with Cardiff Bus and other bus companies to develop a new transport strategy ensuring communities across Cardiff have reliable, affordable bus routes. We will restore services that have been cut to communities that need them, ensure that buses are not stuck in a congested city, build the new bus station and review bus fares including piloting free bus travel. We will pilot more on-demand bus services and roll out more electric buses.
- Fix our crumbling streets – We will roll out a new programme of highway repairs and resurfacing to fix our crumbling roads, pavements and footpaths, and introduce a Walking Strategy, making sure everyone can get around safely.
- Encourage walking and cycling – We will design active travel routes to ensure that more children can walk and cycle safely to school, active travel is a safe alternative in all parts of the city, not only the city centre. Where new roads are built, including as part of new housing developments, we will ensure that properly segregated cycle and pedestrian routes are part of the infrastructure, as part of a strategy of working towards making sure that as many of the facilities people need to access on a day-to-day basis as possible are within 20 minutes of their home.
Thank you for everything that you do and the Welsh Liberal Democrats look forward to continuing to work with you after the election.’
Many thanks for getting in touch with your manifesto – a really impressive piece of work.
And thanks for everything Cardiff Cycle City has done for cycling in the city – We know how your organisation has not just pressed for better provision for cyclists, but has actually worked on making things happen.
We are generally happy to give our support for the proposals set out in your letter, although we don’t pretend all of the elements are easy.
We want to re-emphasise our absolute commitment to cycling and active travel in the city. As you know our Transport White Paper made clear commitments to prioritise sustainable transport modes, with the target of more than doubling the number of trips made by cycling (to 26%), and more than halving the number of trips made by car.
During this administration active travel has been one of our main priority areas and here are some of the things we have done:
- Immediately allocated £10M in our capital programme to start our programme of cycleways
- 5 Cycleways have been started, as well as the city-centre ‘loop’
- Established a cycling advisory group to foster a team work approach and support each other
- Recruited new staff and repurposed existing staff in several departments to focus on active travel
- Invested in the Nextbike scheme
- Supported over 120 schools in Cardiff to have an active travel plan
- Established school street closures at over 20 schools
Whilst I accept that some of what we have achieved hasn’t always gone as far as we’d like – we would point out that much of this work has never been done before, and in many cases we have had to lead the way (In Wales at least).
In terms of the future we would draw your attention to our new corporate plan and budget – they include the following commitments to active travel:
- We have a rolling programme of cycleway delivery planned out for the next few years, completing routes such as Newport Road all the way to Newport and Cycleway 4 to Plasdwr.
- Our Active Travel Network Map is due in June. This will indicate the next phase of cycleways, but also bring forward plans for a much denser network of safe cycle routes.
- We know this is the most important issue, but also the hardest to change.
- By next year 20MPH will be the default limit. We’d like to think we have led on this in many ways, doing the hard yards of changing limits ward by ward over the last 6 years.
- We do struggle with speed enforcement, and are pushing hard for more powers and will be testing new approaches.
- We have not shied away from difficult decisions around closing roads to cars, re-purposing highways space for cycleways, and removing residents parking.
- Despite some growth, we are very aware that resources have been stretched in the transport team. This has impacted our ability to progress some areas of work we know are important.
- Therefore we are pleased to say that we have given this area a £300,000 increase in annual revenue allocation to allow for the recruitment of new members of staff. This is in additional to our brilliant team, and does not include additional designers and delivery professionals associated with our cycleway programme.
- You will also be pleased to know we have allocated an additional £150,000 in this coming years’ budget specifically to improve enforcement with a focus on cycleways, bus lanes and pavement parking.
I hope this gives you the confidence that the Labour Party in Cardiff is as ambitious about cycling in Cardiff as you are. And that you can trust us to deliver. As ever we are available to discuss these or any other issues as we work together to make Cardiff the best City for Cycling in the UK.
Cllr Huw Thomas & Cllr Caro Wild
We will be publishing more parties responses as they come in!
Let us know what you think of these responses by using the comments box below: