Threats to integrated cycle routing
Throughout the vast county of Gwynedd there are excellent examples of well designed and functional cycle routes. Until recently cyclists travelling through Caernarfon enjoyed good quality.
However threats come from several directions.
The tragic death of popular local cyclist Rhodri Hughes-Jones in September 2014, caused by the thoughtless installation of chains across a popular route used by many cyclists, has led to the installation of ‘Cyclist Dismount’ signs at each end of the Fictoria Doc Marina. This by itself compromises the continuity of the coastline routing through the town. .
Unnecessary Dismount Signs
The Dismount signage, advisory though it is and not mandatory, is used frequently and unnecessarily by highway engineers without adequate justification. There is no justification in this instance. Perversely it is intimidating to cyclists and source of conflict between pedestrians and cyclists when the latter ignore such signage. Many assume cyclists are breaking the law when they are not.
Iconic footbridge under threat
At the mouth of the Afon Aber, there are proposals to permanently leave open the swing bridge for economy reasons, allowing the passage of river traffic, but denying cyclists and pedestrians an essential link between the town centre and the network of lanes along the Menai Strait embracing settlements such Llandwrog and Dinas Dinlle
With every justification there has been wide protests from local residents. There is no more important route for visitors and residents on foot or cycle.http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/hundreds-protest-over-caernarfon-swing-10041150
You may register your protest directly to Gwynedd County Council through its ‘Challenge’ consultation https://www.gwynedd.gov.uk/en/Council/Have-your-say/Gwynedd-Challenge.aspx
Paper copies of the Consultation are also available at Council offices, libraries and leisure centres. This consultation covers a wide range of potential spending cuts including the Aber bridge, Caernarfon.
You may also see a video of the location where Rhodri Hughes-Jones died. Not only – why chains?
Video – and why chains and bollards?
But also – why bollards when other safe means of excluding motor vehicles are available? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNlE6DYxQu8
We should not underestimate the important social implications of frustrating travel plans for those who choose to make their journeys by foot or cycle. For those reliant upon mobility aids, continuous safe routing is a essential life quality expectation. A proper value must be placed on the principles behind the widely acclaimed Wales Active Travel legislation. Rhetoric alone has no value.