Cyclists in Cardiff have delivered a damning verdict on the safety of the city’s cycle network, with none of them agreeing that it was well organised or maintained, and more than 90% saying they had felt unsafe while cycling in the city, according to our online poll.
A yourCardiff survey showed 0% of respondents felt “the cycle network in Cardiff is well organised and maintained for the benefit of cyclists and drivers”.
More than 65% of respondents said they felt that cycle routes in Cardiff were badly organised and poorly maintained by Cardiff Council, while just over 34% said the cycle routes were only sometimes well maintained.
Asked “Do you feel safe cycling in Cardiff?”, just 2.4% of 120 people who took part in the poll said they felt safe all of the time. 74% agreed with the statement “sometimes – some areas of the city are safer than other”, while 23.6% said they never felt safe on the city’s cycling network.
He said the city’s cycling infrastructure is poorly thought out and maintained.
“There doesn’t appear to be a joined up thought process going on and it seems that a lot of cycling lanes are there for the sake of it,” he said.
“The majority of bike lanes in Cardiff are red stripes painted on the roads right next to parking spaces.
“These are dangerous and pointless as they bring cyclists into an area of danger where car doors open and should be disregarded as cycle lanes.
“The other cycling lanes that have been created are short and poorly maintained with bollards, dismount signs, and signs that partially block the path. They don’t encourage cyclists to use the lanes.”
Dr Freeman pointed to a cycle lane on Neville Street which is often blocked by residents’ rubbish or vehicles and another on North Road used by residents to park cars.
“The infrastructure is very poor, wherever there is red paint on the road,” he said.
“Often lanes are not much more than half a metre [wide].
“The council has not thought junctions through. Some of the places where they have painted red paint, a cyclist would get squashed.”
Dr Freeman and Mr Pow both said drivers and pedestrians become angry if cyclists cycle outside the cycle lanes.
Dr Freeman said: “I’m worried about my safety every day I get on my bike. Every day you have to be super aware and cautious.”
A Cardiff council spokesperson said they were committed to improving cycle safety and aimed to create a joined up cycle network, but appreciated ongoing feedback.
“Ongoing feedback is essential in developing the cycle network in the city,” the council said.
“In addition to the network of routes a number of initiatives including the installation of flush kerbs to improve access to/from off-road routes, the removal of redundant signs to reduce street clutter, and the installation of advanced stop lines at junctions were also identified.
“Ideally cyclists should be able to share the road with other traffic. Where footways are not clearly signed as shared use the assumption should be that cycling is not permitted.
“In recent years there have been moves to reduce the amount of street clutter, including signage, on our highways.”
Jane Lorimer, deputy director of Sustrans Cymru, said the council was moving in the right direction.
“There’s still lots to be done. We advocate that cycle facilities should be properly designed so the red paint is not always best choice.
“In the past Cardiff may have used red paint just to say they have facilities but I don’t think that’s the approach they take now.
“They’re taking the right approach I think.”
We also asked you to tell us where you thought Cardiff’s most dangerous spots for cyclists were, and where you thought there were good cycling safety facilities. You highlighted many of the city’s main, busy arteries as the most dangerous for cyclists, while the Taff Trail and much of Cardiff Bay were thought to be safer.
Have a look at our map below to see your cycling safety hot-spots and not-spots in the city.
What do you think of the results of our survey? Do you agree with them, as a cyclist, driver or pedestrian? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
View Cycling safety in Cardiff: Your verdict in a larger map