Press Release 23rd May

Enquiry into City Centre development, which Ďwill increase congestion and pollutioní

A public enquiry is taking place this week into the major new St. Davids development in Cardiff City Centre. The enquiry will be considering objections to the scheme raised by the Cardiff Cycling Campaign. According to the campaign, the new development will increase car traffic in the city centre, do nothing to improve pedestrian links with bus and train stations and make and the poor cycling provision in the city centre even worse.

"Itís tragic to see Cardiff Council ignoring their own policies on sustainable transport, and once again planning to increase car usage at the expense of environmentally friendly alternatives," said Dr. Dyfed Huws, chair of the campaign. "The current plans will increase congestion and pollution".

Their case was bolstered by a report out today that showing that Wales is the only part of the UK where carbon emissions are rising.

While traffic has grown by almost 5% in the UK as a whole since 1998, in Cardiff traffic has grown by a staggering by a dramatic 17%. Only 2.7% cycle to work in Cardiff - one of the lowest rates among all major cities in the UK. "The current plans for this development will only make matters worse," says Huws.

Huws says that the public enquiry is the last resort for those arguing for more sustainable transport planning in the city centre. "Itís shocking enough that there are no safe cycling routes across the city centre - this development represents a major lost opportunity". The campaign insists that it is not against development, but suggests that Council officers are stuck in old ways of thinking which increase car use and discourage alternative like cycling

Dr. Huws also expressed frustration that despite repeated objections made to the plan since 2003, council officers have refused to budge from its car oriented approach. "Why is the council spending public money on lawyers to fight against its own policies on sustainable transport?" he asked. The enquiry is in the Old Library, and will end on Friday.

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