Cardiff Cycling Campaign

33 The Balcony Castle Arcade CARDIFF CF10 2BY

Representation to the Welsh Review of Trunk Roads

Preamble

Cardiff Cycling Campaign is a voluntary organisation with around 300 members and has represented the interests of cyclists in the capital city since 1985. It participates in the Cycle Campaign Network UK and includes people experienced at all levels, including in the design and implementation of cycling facilities. The Campaign submitted substantial and critical responses to the cycling section of the 2001 draft Transport 'TAN' and the 2002 draft Walking & Cycling Strategy. The Campaign has been a key partner in Cardiff County Council's development of their cycling strategy and plans for their strategic cycle network.

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The whole Review is defective because it ignores Cycling (and all non-motorised road users)

Cardiff Cycling Campaign supports the 1996 UK National Cycling Strategy (NCS) objectives and specific targets for cycling. We note that the Welsh Office also endorsed the NCS in their version of the integrated strategy Transporting Wales into the Future (1998). Thus cycling is a full part of the Integrated Transport Strategy, under which trunk road policy comes.

There's a key principle of the NCS that WAG's Transport Directorate is supposed to implement:

  "Most cycling takes place on the road and this will continue to be the case. So it is essential that the road network is made suitable for cycling".

The present Review makes no proposal nor gives any argument for changing this principle - we insist like the CTC and other cycling organisations that it must stand.

The NCS principle gainsays the covert cycling policy of "routes away from busy roads that are safe for both walkers and cyclists" that was the Highways Directorate's excuse for building trunk road junctions so hostile to cyclists and refusing a cycle lane along in the Heads-of-the-Valleys road scheme, and refusing to widen the shoulder of roads like the A470 north of Merthyr by 30cm to form a standard cyclelane. The infamous Gabalfa roundabout on the A470 is part of the road network - recall that Rhodri Morgan joined our cycling demo there some years ago - so the principle says it is "essential" to make Gabalfa suitable for cycling.

The second point on the NCS principle is that the Transport Directorate has to repudiate the apparent stance of "we don't want" cyclists on busy or fast highways (rejecting Cardiff County Council's application for cycling funds in their 2002 Transport Grant bid) and the omission of any improvements for cycling in their Trunk Road Forward Programme 2002. Indeed the only reference to cycling in that document is in the (supposed) objectives and to consider cycling in the Queensferry scheme.

In the draft Welsh Walking and Cycling Strategy there was a sentence on trunk roads that flouted all the Assembly's principles of openness, transparency and public involvement:

  "the work on Trunk Roads in Wales will help improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists by taking full account of their needs".

This Review of Trunk Roads shows this to be false pretences as it contains not a single mention of cycling. Nor does it include any policy framework for taking account of pedestrians' and cyclists' needs

The declared objectives of the Transport Directorate include:

  "To promote cycling and walking, and provide opportunities for healthy lifestyles."

This document fails to try to meet or even consider this objective. It does not consider that how provisions and conditions for pedestrians and cyclists could or would be impacted by the Trunk Road proposals. We see this as a fundamental flaw.

In the situation where the Transport Directorate is remote from local level participative decision-making, and shows itself unwilling or incapable of giving due priority to pedestrians and cyclists, we object to the principle and to all the proposals to expand the trunk road system.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cardiff Cycling Campaign, December 2002