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Cardiff Politics South Wales

Cycle campaigners call proposed trail changes ‘missed opportunity’

Cardiff Cycle City has criticised the council for pressing ahead with its plans to alter the Taff Trail at Hailey Park without its recommendations (Pic: Cardiff Council)

CYCLING campaigners have criticised the council over its proposal to alter a popular cycle route in Cardiff.

Cardiff Council consulted on plans to alter a section of the Taff Trail that runs through Hailey Park which will involve widening the existing path and realigning sections of it.

Cardiff Cycle City, which made a number of recommendations including having a segregated path instead of shared one, were disappointed to find that the path will remain shared between cyclists and pedestrians.

In a statement issued this week, the campaigners called the council’s decision to continue with its proposal without the recommended changes a “missed opportunity”.

The council said its proposal aims to improve the trail and make it safer. The local authority also said Cardiff Cyle City’s proposed re-alignment of the shared path was not viable for a number of reasons.

Cardiff Cycle City said: “[Cardiff Cycle City] does not believe that the current proposal will reduce conflict between pedestrians and cyclists in the park.

“In fact, it is likely to increase conflict due to the disruption caused during construction and also because the council have seen fit to persist in using shared paths.”

As part of the council’s plans, the southern section of the route that passes through Hailey Park will be realigned adjacent to Mary Street above the tennis courts.

The northern section of the path will also be realigned to avoid a narrow section that cuts through the trees separating the sports pitches.

Cardiff Cycle City proposed using the alignment of the Royal Glamorgan Canal to the north of Hailey Park and having the trail rejoin the original route further south.

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The council said it decided not to go ahead with this for a number of reasons including the cost of realigning junctions on Station Road and Gabalfa Road, the potential conflict with the use of the lane running along the edge of the park and the protection of canopies and roots of mature trees which run parallel to the lane.

The local authority added that the limited width of Gabalfa Road would make it difficult to accommodate a cycleway.

Campaigners also said they recommended the introduction of a school street for Gabalfa Road to tackle the volume of traffic and parking issues around Ysgol Glantaf.

Cardiff Cycle City added: “It appears that the council has given very little consideration to our proposals in this area, mostly on the grounds that they will cost more than the council’s scheme.

“We would be interested to know how much work has been done to determine the cost of implementing our school street proposal.

“Finally, we must again draw attention to the £4m Roath Park scheme where it seems that when the council is committed to providing effective active travel infrastructure, it is able to secure the funding to do so.”

Cardiff Council said the proposal to restricted through traffic on Gabalfa Road during school drop off and pick up times will be considered as part of the School Streets Scheme.

Some changes were also made to the council’s Taff Trail scheme following the consultation process.

Cardiff Cycle City went on to say: “It [the scheme] benefits no-one in its current form, and on that basis it would be better to do nothing at all than spend over £700,000 on a flawed scheme that nobody wants.”

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “The council wants to build a greener and more sustainable future for Wales’ capital city.

“As part of our Stronger, Greener, Fairer ambitions we are committed to improving cycling and walking routes. Over time this will give residents and visitors greener and healthier ways of moving around the city.

“The proposed cycleway in Hailey Park has been consulted on with the public and interested parties twice.

“Through this process, the shared use option was chosen, as the route is through a park, for different people using the park for different purposes. It isn’t intended as a high-speed commuter route for cyclists.”

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