IT is not clear what the Cardiff Cycling Campaign are trying to achieve with their constant criticism of new walking and cycling routes – especially when their latest comments contain a significant number of factual inaccuracies.
If we are going to increase levels of walking and cycling for everyday journeys – something that would reduce congestion and have major health benefits – then we need to create networks that allow safe, direct and comfortable journeys for all potential users.
But these networks do not appear overnight, time is needed to plan, and it cannot all be built at the same time as funding is tight. For example, the Dingle Park link is currently a short traffic-free route (and is especially valued by wheelchair users and people with children in pushchairs), but the longer term intention is that it will be linked via a new bridge over the railway which ties in with the railway electrification programme. This will significantly increase the potential number of local journeys that could be made on foot or by bike from the Penarth Gardens area.
Dynamic community consultation and detailed cycle network planning is a key part of the new Active Travel Act; and from our work in communities across Wales and the UK we know this approach is key to getting more people walking and cycling as part of their daily routine. Sustrans looks forward being part of that process and we hope Cardiff Cycling Campaign and other community organisations will also constructively feed in to the strategic planning which the new legislation requires Vale of Glamorgan Council to do.
Director, Sustrans Cymru