Original post here
The council wrote back to me as follows:
“Thank you for your e-mail of the 15th January in which you have highlighted the need for cycle improvements between Taffs Well and Tongwynlais. I would draw your attention ot the fact that the section of the cycle route half way along Cardiff Road does become the responsibility of Cardiff Council and you would therefore need to contact them directly in order to seek their views on the concerns that you have raised. In response to the points that you have raised related to RCT’s area I can provide the following information.
It is acknowledged that sections of the cycle route between the southern end of Taffs Well Industrial Estate and Tongwynlais are not completely off road and segregated from vehicular traffic. Unfortunately due to the constraints of the highway network in this area it is not possible to construct a completely off road route. Despite this the Council has taken steps to assist cyclists continuing with their journey when on the road by providing a cycle lane and advanced stop lane in advance of the traffic signals. The concerns that you have raised that drivers ignore the ASL are noted, however the Council has no powers of enforcement with regards to moving traffic offences and I would therefore advise you to raise these concerns with the South Wales Police directly. I can inform you that there are plans for this junction to be re-surfaced in the near future, which will include relaying the road markings. This will help to raise driver awareness of the need to keep the area clear for cyclists.
With regards to the concerns that you have raised about the problems that the 90 degree barrier poses it is considered that this feature has been implement to ensure that cyclists reduce their speed to an appropriate level when leaving the road and merging with the shared use footway. However your concerns have been noted and should funding become avaiable in the future this can be investigated.
As you may be aware the Welsh Government recently passed the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013. The Act places a duty on local authorities to map existing cycle facilities, identify missing links and prepare proposals to improve the walking and cycling network. As part of this process there will be a full consultation period which will enable the public to have their say on the existing and future proposals. This will give you the further opportunity to raise the issues you have regarding this route.
I trust this information is of assistance
Many thanks for your reply & information contained in your letter. I will write to Cardiff Council to bring the parts of this cycle route that they are responsible for to their attention shortly.
I afraid I cannot agree that the “due to constraints of the highway network in this area it is not possible to construct a completely off road route”.
Where the “cycle lane” has been provided here leading to the ASL is approx 50cm wide. I don’t think that this fits any specification for a cycle lane I have ever heard of. Sustrans say that “cycle lanes should be a minimum of 1.5m wide, continuous and not abandon cyclists where roads become narrow” (Source) .
Again, the carriageway here is wide enough to support a cycle lane segrated from traffic- there is a pavement on the right which just ends with no access. The green area could also be used- there is no lack of width here
Again, on either side there is additional width not currently used by carriageway that could be re-assigned for cycling
” it is considered that this feature has been implement to ensure that cyclists reduce their speed to an appropriate level when leaving the road and merging with the shared use footway”
Then why is the layout here putting pedestrians in conflict with cyclists? There is again ample space to accommodate cyclists within the main carriageway (but segregated), instead we are forcing cyclists to share minimal space with pedestrians.
The lead-up to this roundabout is the worse example of road share on this stretch. The shared pavement in this section narrows to approx 1m, & yet there is enough road space for 2 lanes either side (& center refuge as well)- even though the road is not marked in this way. Suggest that this could be reduced to a single lane in either direction & extend the area for cyclists.
Finally- whilst the Active Travel Act 2013 sounds like it could be great for promoting walking/cycling, it is my belief that currently councils are using it to hide behind any improvements to their existing infrastructure. I hope that RCT does not intend to do this- as this is only 1 of many poor pieces of cycle infrastructure within the council area.