PRESS RELEASE 10/04/2006 EMBARGO 13/04/2006
CARDIFF COUNCILLORS AND OFFICERS TAKE UP CITY CYCLE RUSH HOUR CHALLENGE
CARDIFF CYCLING CAMPAIGN FORCE PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO CITY CENTRE REDEVELOPMENT PLANS
Senior Cardiff Councillors and Council Officers have accepted Cardiff Cycling Campaignís challenge to cycle across Cardiff city centre in rush hour. The Campaign want to draw attention to the poor facilities for cyclists and potential cyclists across Cardiff, as well as the lack of direct routes for pedestrians, and the lack of a modern integrated public transport system - a situation that will not be improved if the current designs for the St Davids 2 development in the city centre proceed as planned.
The cycle challenge will begin at Cardiff County Hall in Atlantic Wharf at 4pm on Thursday 13 April, before cycling across town to City Hall via Central Station using the most direct legal routes available. Those taking up the challenge include Cllr Elgan Morgan - executive member for transport and the environment, Paul Carter, Operational Manager for transport policy, Richard Coombes - Operational Manager with a responsibility for cycling, and Cllr Gwenllian Lansdown of Riverside. Councillors from all parties on the Environment and Transport Scrutiny Committee are also invited to take part.
Cardiff Cycling Campaign are also seeking funding to take councillors on a fact finding visit to cities who have more cycle friendly transport policies and better public transport, such as Edinburgh, York, and Copenhagen in Denmark.
Only 2.7% cycle to work in Cardiff - one of the lowest rates among all major cities in the UK. While traffic has grown by almost 5% in the UK as a whole since 1998 to the middle of this decade, and bus use has gone up in England and Scotland, in Wales traffic has grown by 8% and bus use has gone down. In Cardiff traffic has grown by a staggering 17%. Many more use public transport and cycle in Edinburgh where car use is lower, and in York almost 15% cycle to work. In Copenhagen where car use is low and growth is static, public transport use is very high, and over 1/3 of daily journeys are made by cycle. Twenty percent of Copenhagenís transport budget goes towards cycling. Surveys show that all these cities mentioned have better performing economies.
Dr Dyfed Wyn Huws, Chair of the Cardiff Cycling Campaign, said "We support sustainable economic development in Cardiff, but the failure of the St. Davidís 2 redevelopment to provide a network of connected safe cycling routes across the city centre is a major lost opportunity, and goes against Council and Assembly Government policy. We have objected to the plans and there will now be a public inquiry to consider the matter on 23 May. We urge cyclists and pedestrians to contact the Council and the inquiry to press for better facilities and a modern public transport system - only then will people be encouraged to leave their cars at home, thereby easing congestion and improving the environment and economy for everyone in the city."
He also called upon the Council to lead discussions with the Harbour Authority, New Labour Welsh Assembly Government, Vale of Glamorgan Council, the International Sports Village developers, and Associated British Ports to urgently improve safe cycling commuter routes across Cardiff Bay Barrage and the Ely Estuary.
Note to editors
St Davidís 2 Public Inquiry Facts
Cardiff Cycling Campaign objected to a proposed section 247 Stopping Up of Highways Order in the Hayes area. Members of the Tabernacl chapel in the Hayes have also objected to the associated section 249 extinguishment of vehiclular rights order. Both were proposed in relation to the St David's 2 shopping development in the city centre. Our objections have forced a public inquiry.
Anyone wishing to give appear and give evidence at the inquiry must submit a statement that they intend to appear and give evidence at the inquiry by April 14th - address Miss Vicky Brown, The Planning Inspectorate, Crown Building, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NQ Tel 029 2082 3892 Fax 029 2082 5150
The inquiry in to both proposed orders will take place at 10 am 23 May, Old Library, Hayes, Cardiff.
Copies of the draft orders and notice can be viewed at www.wales.gov.uk/keypubliclegislationcirculars/index.htm under draft local statutory instruments and then February 2006. They can be viewed free of charge at Cardiff County Hall
FOR MORE INFORMATION www.cardiffcycling.org.uk AND www.transport2000.org.uk
Dr Dyfed Wyn Huws 07832121144 Chair Cardiff Cycling Campaign - INTERVIEWS IN WELSH OR ENGLISH
Professor Justin Lewis, 029 20 876341 Media & Communication Adviser Cardiff Cycling Campaign, and Deputy Head of School, Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies