Cyclingnorthwales can report that cracks are already appearing in the interpretation of the Welsh Active Travel Act. The signs are not good for cycling. Cycling is either not understood, or is being deliberately suppressed for inexplicable reasons by some officers and Councillors.
Denbighshire County Council.
In the town of Denbigh, a well researched cycle route application has been rejected by the County Planning committee. The route ticked all the boxes. Attractive and avoiding a busy road junction, it linked the town centre to the town boundary with a way ahead for developing further important routings. Evidence of the debate in council shows the Planning Committee was not up to pace in grasping what the principles of cycle routing are about. Furthermore, negative lobbying by some residents provides a stark example of nimbyism at its most negative. What should have been an important step in furthering a Vale of Clwyd cycle route has been stifled – for the time being. Cyclingnorthwales understands a further application is being considered.
See how the Planning Committee arrived at their decision with hyperlink to the debate. http://www.cyclingnorthwales.co.uk/pages/denb_cyc.htm
Similarly a decision by the same highway authority to spend £3K on unnecessary barriers to regulate cycling to a walking pace through a tiny nature reserve at Rhuddlan has raised more than a few eyebrows.This supports the view that a significant proportion cycling funding does not go where it is intended – to facilitate comfortable, safe, and efficient cycle usage.
Conwy County Borough Council.
Earlier this year Cycling Prohibition signage appeared on the Cob footway between the settlements of Conwy and Llandudno Junction. This river crossing route has been used for many years by cyclists without any recorded problems The parallel A487 is unsafe for many riders, particularly novice riders and children – despite its National Cycle Route designation.
At Pendalar, Llanfairfechan, the entrance to Pen y Clip has been reconstructed following the uncovering of a design fault not noted in earlier safety auditing. This had led to at least one injury. The new entrance has incorporated exactly the same fault! We must expect more injuries. Advice by CTC has been ignored.
In the same locality cyclists using Mona Terrace for convenience, to avoid the steep gradients of the ‘official NCR5 route, have come up against protesting residents of this private road. Supported by Conwy CBC, signage has been erected denying this thoroughfare for cycling – but no other means of conveyance. The question is being asked – who paid for the signage? And how does this fit into a range of government policies, not least anti- discrimination.
Gwynedd County Council.
At Bontnewydd the continuity of Lon Eifion(NCR8) is threatened by the proposed Caernarfon bypass running from Felinheli. This is but one of several example of current schemes threatening active travel routes, where Welsh Government sits on the fence expecting others to fight for the principles of Active Travel.
In Caernarfon we find CYCLISTS DISMOUNT signs appearing at each end of the Harbour Marina where a cyclist died a year ago striking a barrier chain. Those who installed the chain were at fault – not cyclists or cycling per se. But instead of learning lessons and taking advice from cycle users the county has decided without good reason to advise cyclists to walk the 200yds along the side of the marina.
Again in the same county at Barmouth, cyclingnorthwales find the estuary crossing for walkers and cyclists threatened with a cost cutting closure.
Pot Holes Ahead.
These and other looming disputes points to the road ahead for Active Travel and cycling, not without its life-threatening potholes.
If you want to add your protest to the Barmouth threat, Click https://www.change.org/p/gwynedd-council-keep-barmouth-bridge-open-to-walkers-and-cyclists?recruiter=157126320&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=des-lg-share_petition-reason_msg&fb_ref=Default
Our Inactive Population.