Cycling

Two cyclists on a road

Cyclists on North Road, Cardiff. Photo: Chris Brown, Cardiff Friends of the Earth

Cycling

Cardiff is ideal for cycling. It is relatively flat, and facilities such as shops are fairly close to housing areas. However, in 2004 just 4 per cent of people cycled to work. Cardiff Friends of the Earth wants the Council to take measures to improve cycling.

There are many reasons why you should cycle. These include:

Speed and convenience

Time saving is the biggest attraction to urban cyclists. A bike will easily beat a car or bus on any journey that includes central Cardiff in the morning or evening travel peaks.

The icing on the cake is that you can travel door-to-door. The frustration of waiting, changing busses or parking disappears. Your daily journey to work becomes fun rather than the first battle of the day.

Health

Most journeys that people take in cities are five to seven miles long. Not all cyclists are young or fit. Anyone can do it because the bike is a highly efficient machine. It does most of the work for you and you can choose where and when to put in more effort.

Cycling lets you become moderately fit at a pace you decide. It is exercise that fits in with your life, unlike trips to the gym, and saves you money.

Cycling:

  • Makes you feel healthier.
  • Is good for your heart and lungs.
  • Increases your mental alertness.
  • Improves your resistance to illness.
  • Reduces your chance of developing heart disease.

The environment

Cars pump out a mixture of gasses which are bad for people and the environment. They are no worse for cyclists than for car passengers or pedestrians. Bikes stop pollution, save scarce oil reserves and stop climate change. They are silent, rarely cause accidents, and can be accommodated in existing streets.

Weather

The wind is the worst problem when cycling. However you get the benefit of it on the return journey. It rains less in Cardiff than you think. There are about 28 days of the year when you might not want to cycle.

Encouraging cycling

  • Conditions for cycling can be improved by: Reducing traffic speeds. A self-enforcing 20 mph speed limit on residential streets would improve conditions for cycling.
  • Creating a cycle network in all new developments and legalising cycling on the segregated footpath network in areas such as Llanederyn.
  • Integrating cycle facilities into the main road and footpath network (as in Delft).
  • Installing cycle parking and storage that are secure and convenient.
  • Increase the amount of cycle parking for all new developments.

Other ways to improve our lives and reduce dependance on cars include:

  • Bus
  • Rail
  • Walking