St Davids 2 Public Inquiry

The St. Davids 2 redevelopment of Cardiff city centre will badly affect cyclling in and through town. The developers promise to provide facilities for cyclists who wish to use the new shopping cetnre, but seem unconcerned that existing cycle routes through the town centre will be closed, causing cyclists to use the busy (even busier after the development) roads that circle the town centre.
Cardiff Cycling Campaign has lodged an objection (see our letter) and there will be a public inquiry on 23rd to 26th May.
Our statement of evidence gives details of how we have tried to compromise on a plan that at least allows cyclists some hope of a safe cross-town route, However, in spite of various broken promises, it looks as if cycling in town will soon become far more dangerous and unpleasant.
We also intend to show examples of safe practice from other cities in the UK and Europe. These pictures show what is so lacking in Cardiff.
Evidence documents
1 list of evidence
6 support from Lyn Sloman of Transport for Quality of Life
7 Sustrans statement in support of our objection
8 Professor Norman Begg address to scrutiny committee
9 letter from Sustrans to Council Regulatory Services May 2005
13a Objection to Revised Outline Planning Application April 2003
13b Objection to Revised Outline Planning Application letter to Cllr Robinson
13c Letter to Cllr Hinchey June 2003
14 Request to WAG to "call in" planning application
15a Formal objection by Sustrans April 2003
15b Formal objection by Sustrans April 2003 Letter to Cllr Robinson
15c Sustrans to council expressing serious concerns April 2005
15d Sustrans to council expressing further concerns May 2005
16 Sustrans request to WAG to "call in" planning applicationJuly 2003
18 Cardiff County Council Cycling Development and Liaison Working Party (CDLWP) minutes
19 Environment Scrutiny Committee where Corporate Manger claims "A sustainability audit is being undertaken for St David's "

Extracts from our case
National Travel Survey, Census and other data show that traffic has grown by almost 5% in the UK as a whole since 1998 to the middle of this decade. In Wales traffic has grown by 8%. Yet in Cardiff traffic has grown by 17% in this time. Cardiff County Council’s own white paper on transport ‘Keeping Cardiff Moving’ states that ‘congestion is Cardiff’s No1 transport problem.’

National Travel Survey, Census and other data also show that only 2.7% cycle to work in Cardiff - one of the lowest rates of all major cities in the UK. Many more cycle in London, Bristol, Cambridge, and in Edinburgh, where car use per capita is lower and public transport use higher. In York almost 15% cycle to work.

Despite the current low rate of cycling in Cardiff, police statistics show that 77 cyclists were knocked down by motor vehicles in the Cardiff City Centre Electoral Division between 2000-2005, one of these was killed, and 7 seriously injured. During the same 5 year time period in the central pedestrianised areas in Cardiff City Centre Electoral Division only 2 collisions between a cyclist and a pedestrian were recorded, and both were classified as ‘slight’.

Proposals of the development

Car parking There are 7000 existing off street car parking spaces in the vicinity. The development will add at least 800 extra spaces to this.

Pedestrianisation Section 249 order extinguishing vehicular rights (including cycling): 6 streets including The Hayes, Hill's St

Stopping up of highways S247 order. Parts or all of: 8 streets including Bridge St, The Hayes and Hill's St.

Highway and junction alterations and new highways The junction alterations are mainly to prioritise motor vehicle traffic, and lead motor vehicle traffic currently less busy roads of the city centre south of Queen St to the proposed new multi-storey car parks within their development.
Many new elaborate and wide filter lanes and dedicated car park lanes appear on the developers plans for Guildford St/Churchill Way junction; the new David St/car park exit junction; Mary Ann St/car park junction; Bute Terrace/Churchill Way; Bute Terrace/Mary Ann St; Bute Terrace eastbound and service vehicle lane; Bute Terrace west and Hayes Bridge Rd. The whole of 3 lanes of Hayes Bridge Rd (except for exit for buses).

Cycling routes
No new high quality cycle routes, cycle lanes, cycle ways or rights of way are proposed.
We note that only a minimal road safety audit was carried out. No non-motorised road user audit was conducted.
The stopping up order and pedestrianisation order will remove actual and de facto rights of access to cyclists to major cycling north-south and eats-west city centre routes. We have previously indicated how these streets form the only available parts or whole (relatively) safe east-west and north-south cycling routes across and to the city centre.
On the widened multi-laned roads proposed, and proposed new and existing traffic-prioritised junctions, some low quality relatively cheap narrow intermittent lengths of gutter/kerbside pink/red tarmac cycle lanes are proposed in places, along with red tarmac cycle advanced stop lines. These will not be segregated from heavy motor vehicle traffic. No junction will have direct desire line prioritised light crossings for cyclists. No new cycle crossing of any road is proposed. No indication is given by the developers of the enforcement of no parking on the proposed narrow pink tarmac cycle lanes.
Notwithstanding their inadequacies (see below), the narrow pink/red tarmac cycle lanes proposed are one way only on Station Terrace/Guilford St and most of the future remaining Bridge St. They will be minimal on Churchill Way. They do not occur northbound on Mary Ann St, and are minimal southbound. They do not occur on the east bound Bute terrace east of junction with Mary Ann St, and virtually absent westbound, east of that junction. None continue on the same route on Adam St. There are none on the future Hayes Bridge Rd. No safe connections with other cycle routes south to Bute St are proposed.

Under the current proposals owing to both orders, therefore, cyclists will be forced to use Customhouse St/Bute Terrace/Adam St for east west routes. For routes north-south then High St/St Mary’s St, Park Place/(Queen St)/Churchill Way and Station Terrace/Guildford St/Churchill Way remain the only options. However we have already explained how these roads are already in some cases heavily trafficked, and will almost certainly increase in traffic volume once the development is completed. We have already also explained how these routes either have no or inferior cycling facilities at present or how the developers proposals for cycling facilities on them are inadequate.

We note that Cardiff Council with a small donation of £20,000 from the developers, propose to carry out a study to assess the merits of cycling on such pedestrainised areas. The exact purpose of such a study and the reason for carrying it out have not been adequately explained to us. With design alterations (further details would be available from Sustrans or Transport 2000, for example) we maintain the existing and proposed pedestrianised could be made acceptable for cycling and pedestrian use at all times on a legal basis. We point out the previous police data on the almost negligible number of collisions between cyclists and pedestrians in such areas. The unnecessary experiment provides no assurance of any alternative cycling routes as a result of the stopping up order and pedestrianisation order.

Relation of proposals and impacts to granted planning permission

We draw attention to paragraph 36 of the planning permission granted on 11 June 2003 which states that:

"full details of works to the relevant existing highway shall be submitted to and agreed by the Local Planning Authority. Such details shall include for road alignments, surfaces, construction details, street furniture, signs, pedestrian/cycle crossings, disabled parking, cycle and motorcycle facilities and other such infrastructure elements."

We note that in the Council’s Economic Scrutiny Committee of 25 March 2003 a Corporate Officer assured Cllr Wakefield that a sustainability audit would be carried out as part of this development. We are not aware that this was done.

At no point was Cardiff Cycling Campaign, and to our knowledge Sustrans, involved in the consultation of initial design of cycling facilities or presented possible principles or options. Developer/Council advanced plans were merely presented to our members on a few occasions. During the few subsequent meetings with developers and/or Council officers, concerns were expressed by Campaign committee members about the proposals and cycling facilities. At no point did members agree either verbally or in writing to what was being proposed.

In total we have met with developers on 3 occasions. On the first occasion the developers threatened to withdraw dealing with us unless the calling in request to the Assembly was withdrawn. At that meeting of 16 March we were given the impression that some of our concerns might be met, but no assurances were given. Officers and developers seemed particularly keen on the segregated cycle route along the Bute Terrace corrider that we were suggesting. So much so they had produced draft drawings and plans following the January 2006 meeting. However in a subsequent letter (27 March 2006) to us by the developer’s agents all of our suggestions in the January, March and previous meetings were reneged upon. Disingenuously, we feel, subsequently the developers also stated in the South Wales Echo that they had been consulting with cyclist groups and were providing for cycling.

Conclusion

In conclusion we feel that our objections that we have maintained throughout this process are justified and have been consistent. We feel that we have begun to explain in this statement and will clarify at the inquiry that the stopping up order and its alternative highways and junctions, as well as the pedestrianisation order will: In particular the proposed legal alternatives for cycling as a result of the orders will be heavily trafficked as a result of the development, and will be unnecessarily dangerous and unpleasant for cycling owing to junction and road space design, and owing to low quality and intermittent red tarmac cycling strips.






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