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Cardiff residents furious with council plans to prohibit turning on major junction

Cardiff Council is proposing to prohibit the right turning of traffic from Wellfield Road onto Marlborough Road as part of a wider scheme to improve cycling and pedestrian access in Penylan (Pic: Google Maps)

RESIDENTS and councillors are furious with Cardiff Council’s plans to restrict turning on one of the city’s major junctions.

A petition which received more than 170 signatures was submitted in opposition to the plan to prohibit vehicles turning right from Wellfield Road onto Marlborough Road and right from Marlborough Road onto Penylan Road.

The proposal is part of a wider scheme which will see a number of changes along the roads surrounding Roath Recreational Ground.

Chief among the concerns of residents in relation to the proposal is that it could cause an increase in traffic on nearby residential streets like Kimberley Road, Westville Road and Sandringham Road.

The petition in opposition to the proposed change states that residents are “not against cycle paths,” but “are against more traffic”.

Cardiff Council said the turning restrictions are being brought in to reduce the delay to traffic at the junction as a result of the introduction of an additional traffic stage.

The local authority also said that turning movements onto Marlborough Road and from it are very low during peak periods and that any displaced traffic diverting to other roads will be “negligible” and likely “well within the road’s capacity”.

Liberal Democrat ward members for Penylan, Cllr Jon Shimmin, Cllr Rodney Berman and Cllr Imran Latif wrote in a joint letter of objection to the council that the alternative routes that drivers will seek as a result of the changes will “invariably” be Sandringham Road or Kimberley Road.

The councillors said: “Sandringham Road is a much more narrow road with school and nursery traffic on it, as well as parked cars along both sides making it effectively a single car width with few passing points.

“The routes for those travelling from Marlborough Road to Sandringham include Blenheim Road and Agincourt Road which will increase traffic outside the gates to Marlborough Primary School making it more dangerous for children and their families as they walk to and from the school.”

There are currently four signal stages at the Wellfield Road and Marlborough Road junction.

Cardiff Council said an additional stage is needed to allow cyclists to safely cross the junction, however, this would also mean less green light time for traffic.

The council deems the proposed prohibition as the best solution to improve safety and reduce the impact on traffic flow.

The councillors added in their letter: “When asked about why these changes were being proposed the reply given was that it would only affect a small number of road users so won’t cause issues.

“When pushed back asking why it was needed for such a small number, the reply was that the changes were needed for the new phasing of the lights and that it was too many making the turn.

“It is either too many or too little, it cannot be both.

“Either it is too few to make a difference so therefore why even bother prohibiting the turns, or it is a significant number and therefore the side roads will be adversely affected.

“Therefore, we object to the turns being prohibited at all as to protect road, pedestrian and school users on the roads around the area.

“The main roads are designed to carry the traffic and that is how it should be.”

The wider scheme of road changes, which will include road narrowing, new crossings, new cycle lanes and closing Alder Road to vehicle traffic, are intended to improve cycling and pedestrian accessibility in the area.

A traffic proposal notice detailing the plans to prohibit turning onto and from Marlborough Road was published on December 8.
However, the Penylan councillors claim they were not notified about this.

In a joint statement, the councillors said: “As the three Liberal Democrat councillors for Penylan, we are deeply concerned that the consultation on these traffic orders has been deeply flawed.

“We don’t think the notice was on display for the full period of time and there was limited notification to local residents.”

It was felt that running the consultation over the Christmas period made it harder for residents to engage and the local councillors called the council’s decision to do this “quite ridiculous”.

The councillors added: “We therefore wrote to the council’s chief executive before Christmas making a formal complaint about this and demanding the consultation be re-run properly in the new year.”

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “The scheme in question intends to reduce the traffic impact at this junction and to improve bus travel through Penylan and Plasnewydd, whilst also implementing a new ‘traffic stage’ that will enable the installation of a new cycleway crossing.

“This new crossing will be installed across the junction that connects the existing Wellfield Road cycleway with the proposed Roath Park cycleway.

“This is all part of the ongoing work to deliver the Roath Park Cycle Route (Cycleway 6) which will eventually run from north of Roath Park, near Cardiff High School, to Newport Road, where it will connect with Cycleway 2.

 “The council has analysed the traffic data at this junction and the number of drivers making these turns is very low during peak periods, therefore the displacement of traffic to nearby roads will also be small.

“Traffic will be monitored after it has been installed and further assessments/improvements can be considered if required at that time.

 “This new cycleway and all the accompanying changes to the road layouts have been consulted on with local councillors prior to the recent site notice being put up for the Traffic Regulation Order.

“In fact, the scheme has been modified through the previous engagement with local councillors in March 2022 and in the secondary consultation during December 22/January 23.

“Through this engagement with local councillors, we replaced the ‘priority narrowing’ on Ty Draw Road and ramped up the existing zebra crossing near Pen-y-Wain Place on Ninian Road at their request.

 “The council is committed to improving cycling and walking routes across the city and we accept that this may have an adverse impact on people driving private cars in some instances.

“There is still a requirement to improve public transport, cycling and walking routes, so that people have more options to travel and become less reliant on their private car.”