More money for sustainable transport

Traffic jam on Newport Road, Cardiff

Photo: Chris Brown, Cardiff Friends of the Earth

Cardiff Friends of the Earth welcome the announcement by the Welsh Assembly Government this week that they are giving £6m more to develop sustainable transport across the Wales over the next year.

Cardiff will be given the largest slice of the funding at £1.7m. This will pay for much needed improvements to public transport, new walking and cycling routes across the city, and free cycle hire.

Cardiff will get £1.3m more to fund a trial of personalised travel planning (PTP). This gives householders advice and information about alternatives to driving. Similar schemes in England have helped cut car journeys on average by 10 percent.

Cardiff Council have recently published plans for new cycle routes. While this is welcome, all the routes radiate from the city centre. So Cardiff will still lack the proper cycle network common in other cities of the UK.

We hope the council will spend this cycling money wisely on removing accident black spots and creating short-cuts. In the past it has often been wasted on expensive over-engineered short sections of cycle path that end with no indication of where the cyclist should go next.

We also hope that there will be no further conversions of footpaths to joint pedestrian and cycle paths. This is just penalising one form of green transport in favour of another.

Instead the council should take existing road space from cars and give it to cyclists and buses. Doing this will send a strong signal to drivers that they are no longer 'Kings of the Road' and it gives them an incentive to transfer to other methods of transport.