The disruption of the pandemic meant it’s been an unusually big gap between Cardiff Cycle City (C=CC) AGMs; the last being in December 2019. However, just as cycling and Active Travel have seen changes in and around Cardiff in the intervening period, C=CC have also been far from idle!
On Twitter we have 4268 followers, up around 1000 from mid-2020. On Facebook we have 1854 followers. Website use is down over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 (6,407 sessions versus 8,588, a decrease of 25.40%). Our latest ‘Mailchimp’ e-mail to our subscribers reached 983 recipients, up marginally from 2020 levels of circa 950 recipients. As we increasingly run our events via EventBrite, we currently enjoy 72 subscribers.
As the pandemic forced our previously face-to-face meetings online, C=CC kept up regular Committee meetings interspersed with special online (ZOOM) events. These events included a Q&A with Caro Wild (then Cardiff Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Strategic Planning and Transport), two sessions with Cardiff Council’s Transport team covering the online ‘Commonplace’ active travel network mapping, cycling ‘Hustings’ ahead of the Senedd and Council elections, plus a “Miracle Pill” book talk by author and journalist Peter Walker.
Latterly, C=CC are very glad to have returned to face-to-face meetings, most recently with a talk and Q&A with South Wales Police Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan and some of his senior team.
In 2021, to further support Cardiff Council’s ‘Commonplace’ network map consultation and ensure as many people as possible were aware of it and could contribute, C=CC also produced an online promotional video, collated specific feedback on a number of areas across Cardiff, and attended the Rhiwbina Eco Team’s “Eco Day” event to raise awareness.
Also in 2021, along with other aligned organisations, we supported the temporary ‘Bike Week’ shop in Morgan’s Arcade. We also featured in the annual(-ish) Cardiff “Commute Challenge” event, which cycling proudly won, again! Plus, we got out and about at Council’s ‘Get Cycle Ready for Spring’ events in early 2022.
Since the last AGM we have updated the C=CC “Manifesto” and used this as a basis to push the importance of active travel with candidates in the May 2022 Council Election. It was nice to see that at least some of the items from our previous Manifesto had come to fruition in and around Cardiff!
On our website we have rolled out a new comprehensive section devoted to schools’ active travel. The parents survey devised by C=CC and used by a north Cardiff primary school as a basis for Active Travel planning has also been provided to a number of organisations across Wales and formed input to the Senedd’s Active Travel Toolkit. We’ve also compiled and published on our website a cycling ‘A-Z guide’ to help support cyclists and potential cyclists in and around Cardiff. After the Home page, this was the most popular page on our website in the last year.
C=CC has continued to represent the interests of its followers at Cardiff Council’s Cycling Advisory Group meetings and the Senedd’s Cross Party Group on the Active Travel Act. We’ve also kept a watching brief on the replacement Local Development Plan, and lent support to a letter to First Minister Mark Drakeford regarding ‘modal shift’ and driver behaviour.
C=CC Committee members have also delivered content at the UK-wide ‘Ideas with Beers’ Active Travel forum and, more locally, met with Cardiff Civic Society.
C=CC have busied ourselves with a wide range of consultations since the last AGM. These include Roath Recreation Ground, Castle Street, Clare Road and Pendyris Street, Hailey Park, Albany Rd. Red Route, Cycleway 4 to Llandaff, Despenser Gardens, Cycleway 1 to UHW, Cycleway 5 towards Ely, Lloyd George Avenue parking, VoG Pendoylan new road, Channel View regeneration, Cathays High School and Maindy Velodrome, Newport – Cardiff cycle and bus corridors, Welsh Government Transport Strategy for Wales, local and national 20MPH urban speed limits, Llanishen Park Improvement Project, Ysgol y Wern school road safety changes in Llanishen, Rhiwbina Primary school ‘School Street’, Thornhill Road and Templeton Avenue in Rhiwbina / Llanishen Active Travel to schools improvements, plus Grosvenor Street and Sanatorium Road changes,
We ran an online petition, ultimately presented to Cardiff Council, gathering support for bike hangars in residential areas of Cardiff. This issue remains close to C=CC hearts and will no doubt be subject to discussion again in the future.
In the Autumn of 2020 C=CC carried out its own “SWOT” (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. Two key outcomes were, and remain, the attraction of more supporters and improvement of diversity on the Committee. We’ve run supporter surveys via email and face-to-face events in an effort to move these two items forwards. We’ve inducted a set of volunteers (but note we are always on the lookout for additional passionate Cardiff cycling advocates). Although we like to think we’re a very welcoming, supportive bunch, widening support and improving diversity are likely to remain a focus through 2022 and beyond.
We’ve had some people and venue changes since our last AGM: Passionate and energetic stalwart Margaret Jones vacated the Committee and Secretary position as she relocated. Thank you and good luck Margaret. Paul Streets has since fulfilled the Secretary role. Long-serving Jonathan Wright also stepped down from the Committee and C=CC were later saddened by the closure of his RideMyBike Cafe, our meeting and spiritual home for a good couple of years. We’d like to thank Jonathan for his commitment to C=CC and wider Cardiff cycling and wish him well in ventures new. Venue-wise, we’re freestyling for now, for now with the help of our good friends at Cardiff Pedal Power. Finally, of late, Dan Allsobrook has lent his enthusiasm to our social media and Manifesto; thanks Dan!
If you’d like to get involved, either as a volunteer or Committee member, or are just curious to know more, then come along to Pedal Power Cafe at 6pm on Thursday 25 August and say hello!