Cardiff Cycle festival is now in full swing, the naked bike ride was last weekend, and there is plenty of development work that incorporates cycling. I thought we could try a dedicated bike thread.
And to start (just outside the city I know), has anyone had a look at the zig-zag cycle link in Penarth that is intended to make the ISV closer to the town center? And goes via Penarth Heights?
Quite a negative response (and some photos) here:
I guess it will look nicer once some plants grow.
There is an ongoing dispute in Penarth (see website) over a £250,000 cycle track the council intends to build along an existing path. There has been a lot of heated debate.
So no wonder the zig zag path was not that popular, I've read somewhere an oap was knocked over by skateboarder recently on the Zig Zag (too old for skate boarding ) , so feelings running a bit high.
I've not seen the zig-zag path up close but from the photos there doesn't appear to be a straight option using steps. That seems daft as fit pedestrians are almost certain to create unsightly short-cuts through any planting. I can't imagine any reasonably fit person sticking to the path.
Yet again walkers lose out to the lycra-louts! And before any one says it - I know not all cyclists are law-breaking, light-jumping, pavement-mounting idiots - but an awful lot are!
Stop the Tarmac Motorway!!!! I've heard it all now ffs. What would happen if Viridor wanted to set up in Penarth? Mass self-immolation? Hundreds of pensioners linking hands as they throw themselves lemming like off the pier? We'll never find out of course because it will never happen. Which is one of the reasons that people completely lose it over a cycle path.
I think encouraging people to cycle is generally a good idea. Most adult cyclists also drive. If they are cycling then they aren't in their cars. If they aren't in their cars then they aren't clogging up roads, meaning less traffic and less wear and tear. Less traffic is better for pedestrians.
It all seems eminently sensible. Of course that always assumes you can get people out of cars and onto bikes. The problem is that there is such an underlying hostility to cyclists by both motorists and pedestrians why would anyone bother. Pedestrians seem quite happy to cower on pavements as vehicles hurtle by just feet away but ask them to share a path with cyclists and its another example of the lycra louts winning. Motorists meanwhile consider that anything other than a motor vehicle being on the road is an affront to right thinking society. They will happily sit in congestion, moving at a few miles per hour as hundreds of single occupancy vehicles inch forward but if they have to wait a micro second to overtake a cyclist the red mist comes down.
I commute by bike almost every day and I rarely come across lycra louts. They tend to be weekend warriors who go out on their £2,000 racing bikes doing a Bradley Wiggins impression. Most people I see commuting are dressed normally and I rarely see jumping of lights, dangerous cycling or adults riding along pavements.
The council have a part to play in this of course - cycle lanes and in particular shared paths are often poorly marked which gives rise to confusion. Where cycle lanes are on the road they are invariably blocked by parked cars, are often too narrow (try the cycle lane in Corbett Rd which must be 9 inches if that), end abruptly (there was one cycle lane in Cardiff recently featured in the Daily Mail that was 8 feet long) and can occasionally be dangerous themselves (the council have put a cycle lane on the outside of a parking bay along the length of Cathays Terrace - ideal for cyclists to be knocked off by people opening their doors).
We are quite lucky in Cardiff in that we have the Taff Trail. The council are also developing the Ely and Rhymney river trails. Thats great and if you are taking the kids for a cycle ride its ideal. However in the long term it may actually be counter productive. Motorists need to get used to and accept cyclists as normality. They will only do that if there are more cyclists using the road. Many potential cyclists don't want to ride on the road as they think its too dangerous - one of the reasons for this is because motorists are not used to sharing the road with people on bikes. A catch 22 situation if ever there was one.
A reasoned viwew, Karl but my views are influenced by what I see driving in to work.
My route includes Cowbridge Road East with its permenantly blocked cycle lanes. I have counted 20+ cars blocking a stretch of a few hundred yards. I have every sympathy with angry cyclists there.
I then turn in to Neville Street which has well signposted dedicated cycle lanes. Do the cyclists use them? Do they ****? They're on the road, the pavement - everywhere apart from the cycle lane.
I took the opportunity of good weather to cycle up and down the new Penarth zig zag discussed above. While it did require a low gear, it was quite doable. but dont be fooled into thinking the uphill work finishes at the top of the zig zig, there is more uphill to go through Penarth heights.
I generally though it was pretty good, although a couple of criticisms that have been made on here and in the blog post above are quite right. Firstly, the lack of a lowered kerb at the bottom makes it much harder to access by bike. Either you jump the quite high kerb or have to cycle some distance down the road to a lowered section. It all felt a little foolish. Secondly, walkers and joggers absolutely ignored the path and would cut the corners up and down the route through the flower beds and across the grass. Pedestrian steps on a shorter route would have improved it. Indeed, while I cycled up the path one jogger who cut every corner completed the route in about a third of the time it took me.
And cycling down was much less fun than I anticipated. The corners are so tight it is not a free wheeling joy. Heavy brake use all the time.
I suspect it is not finished. it looks like there maybe another phase of Penarth heights to come, and based on how the earth was left it looks like a second entry point to the cycle path might be installed, to the new housing area. But we will see.
It was a good chance to look around Penarth heights, which looked better than the last time I visited, as people start to make it more homely. And a chance to check the view over the bay.
From summer 2014 a pilot scheme will be in operation for a maximum speed limit of 20 mph in parts of cathays and roath. Exact streets not decided yet, but this could include City Road and other roads with active shop fronts, although the focus is residential areas. It is all part of slowing down the traffic to make residential areas more cycle and pedestrian friendly. If it works it could be extended to other parts of the city.
Wow! 20 mph in City Road!! I've never achieved that sort of speed in that road. Won't it be dangerous!?
As a resident of the marina I can tell that that article is full of shit. Cyclists can join the road within five yards at the bottom. There is no law which says cyclists can't use the road. Not only that, the grass on the banks is now almost fully grown.
We need to accept some people like to whinge and moan about the slightest thing.
Interesting plans to reconfigure Cardiff Bridge by the castle. They are on the link below. Plan is to put fully separated cycle lanes in both directions:
Looks good. This is part of Route 6, which links the city center to Ely. The document also includes plans for Cowbridge road east, that include removing the cycle lanes but putting in 'ghost islands' (small roundabout type things at junctions) and more raised crossing to slow down traffic.
This is all just a consultation document, as opposed to confirmed designs.
It notes work to improve cycle access in front of the castle will be considered in the future.
A new cycle path opened last month linking Radyr to Hailey Park over a refurbished bridge:
I walked over it and around that area for the first time the other day, was quite a nice place though felt like a place for local residents more than the Cardiff area as a whole.
As a recent resident of Cardiff (just over 4 years) I wonder if those among you who have lived here for some time could enlighten me regarding cycling in Cardiff.
I notice that cyclists take no notice of red lights at junctions. They either just cycle through them or mount the footpath in order to get to the road they want using pedestrian crossings if necessary. Also, I have always seen the benefit of young children on cycles being able to use the footpath for obvious reasons. I cannot see the need for adults to use them (and I am NOT talking about shared pedestrian/cycle paths) The other day, an adult cyclist rang his bell telling me to get out of the way so he could cycle past on the footpath.
Is there some historical reason for this ignorance?
Perhaps it's something in the water. I live in Cardiff and I regularly see motorists speeding, parked illegally, parked in cycle lanes, going through red lights, failing to indicate, parked on pavements, driving dangerously etc etc.
It must be a very lawless city, that's all I can think of.
I wonder if it is down to the absence of those people who used to wear a sort of blue serge suit and strange hat.....now what was their name.......you know who I mean...they used to keep order. Hey ho....wonder if we'll ever see their like again?
It is true that the cycle path system is not a good as it should be. But is this unique to cardiff?
You asked if their was some historical reason for ignorance amongst the Cardiff cycling fraternity. I know of none but opined it may be something in the water as some motorists display the same cavalier attitude to rules. In effect I attempted to answer your question. I could have opened another thread entitled 'motoring in Cardiff' and referred you there so as to make sure this thread didn't deviate off topic (heaven forfend) but that would have been overkill.
Perhaps what I should have said is that some cyclists are knobs although most aren't which is something they share in common with other road users and indeed pedestrians.
Anyway I'll leave it there so this thread can get back to cycling in Cardiff - which I naively assumed was a discussion about cycling infrastructure in our lawless city rather than a thread specifically to bitch about the lycra lout menace.
I never get this proliferation of pointless cyclist hate. I suspect it comes from the fact that people sat in cars can't abide the idea that a cyclist can squeeze to the front of the queue at lights. So what? They take ten times as much grief from vehicle drivers' aggression.
Jeremy Clarkson has a lot to answer for
Should cyclists contribute towards the roads they use? Should cyclists be made to have insurance? We have seen there is general consensus that cyclists, like motorists and pedestrians, act the goat in equal measure. For this reason should they be held culpable for infringements and accidents in the same way as the motorist. From what I gather from the anecdotal evidence, if a car and a bike collide it is always the motorist who is deemed at fault. Perhaps shifting the liability on to the guilty party may help some cyclists act more responsibly. If you're going to cycle on the roads then surely you should have to hold a licence of sorts. Driving a car / riding a bike is easy, knowing the rules of the road should apply to all
There hasn't been a Road Fund Licence in decades. Vehicle Excise Duty is paid into general taxation. Nowadays VED is a tax on carbon-emissions from vehicles. Below is a quote from the WIKI article
"Hypothecation of VED into the Road Fund was formally ended under theFinance Act of 1936, in accordance with the recommendations of theSalter Report that controversially sought to introduce a balance between the road haulage industry and the railways. It had concluded that the method of road funding, which had relied on parishes and local authorities to fund a portion of the road network through their own means, represented a subsidy to the road hauliers. After the 1936 Act the proceeds of road vehicle duties were to be paid directly into the Exchequer. The Road Fund itself was finally wound up in the Miscellaneous Financial Provisions Act of 1955, becoming a system of funding through government grants."
Any good accountant or tax specialist should know this basic information.
We all know that the road tax goes into general fund much the same as NICS is paid into the general fund and not ring fenced for welfare, benefits or pensions. That doesn't mean it's intended purpose wasn't for national welfare.
You'll also have to explain why an accountant would need to know the details of VED?
NB I'm all for increased cycle lane provision much the same as we see on the continent. However as with motorists who contribute to the upkeep of the roads they use through road tax (using the vernacular), I also think its not unreasonable for cyclists to contribute towards a cycle lane network too. I also think if they use the roads they too need to demonstrate an understanding and proficiency of the highway code
That is why I used the words 'Excise Tax' in my post. (I substituted 'Tax' for 'Duty' purposely!)
I liked the reply Ernest Marples, Minister of Transport (1959-64) gave when asked why the money paid for Excise Licences by motorists wasn't spent solely on the road. He replied that it was an Excise Duty. Whisky drinkers paid Excise Duty too but they didn't expect a glass to drink it in from the proceeds!!
Most adult cyclists are also motorists so do contribute to the upkeep of the roads through 'road tax' but don't use them as much as non-cyclists. Does that mean they should get a rebate on their 'road tax'?
Its basically a carbon tax these days anyway. If you have a vehicle with low enough emissions you don't have to pay it. ANY vehicle. It's a complete non-argument as far as cycling is concerned.
For goodness sake THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ROAD TAX! There is Vehicle Excise Duty or Vehicle Tax or Car Tax if you prefer. This is the annual tax you pay for having a vehicle and the the money you pay goes to the treasury, it does not get put in a magical pot to only pay for the roads.
The 'Road Tax' argument is often used by dangerous motorists who think they have more rights than cyclists. However this is as incorrect as the notion that paying more for a car gives you more priority over other road users (mentioning no car makes in particular but you can guess ). The simple fact is that the highways are for everyone and can be enjoyed by reckless motorists and reckless cyclists alike!
Against my better judgement I'm going to reply.
Your argument is premised on the basis that roads are for motorists and if any other group wants to use them they should pay extra (above and beyond what all adults pay towards the road network in 'road tax' for want of a better phrase)for the privilege. My comment about a rebate was a facetious one made to underline the fact that adults who own motor vehicles but prefer to cycle actually pay the same as motorists but use the network less. This should be welcomed with open arms by motorists as there is a group that pays the same as them but uses the roads less which obviously shares the financial load and also means less traffic. I wasn't being serious, just trying to make a point, as any reasonable interpretation would surely have concluded. You've picked up the ball and run down a blind alley with it and I don't intend to follow you.
Your point about only the people who use facilities should have to pay for them invokes the law of unintended consequences. The logical conclusion to that argument is plain to see. You and I are both motorists and both cyclists so your argument is that we pay more 'road tax' or council tax or whatever tax than just a motorist? Your argument also seems to suggest that better cycle lanes/cycle provision will only benefit those cyclists who use them and not motorists, pedestrians, the children of motorists or pedestrians,etc etc. We are both parents - only parents to pay for education services? Only park users pay for parks? Etc etc repeat ad nauseum until point duly laboured.
The point about cycling proficiency is a good one. I would be in favour of a nationwide scheme throughout schools to start with and potentially with adults. But the simple fact is that cars are much more dangerous than bicycles. They go faster, they weigh more and they kill plenty people. If you are in control of a lump of metal that can go in excess of 100 miles per hour and can, in the right circumstances, kill many, many people in one incident of course the standards that you should adhere to should be higher.
Insurance - I have public liability insurance. Most adults do if they have contents insurance on their house.
I'm not suggesting preferential treatment for cyclists. I haven't suggested any treatment in fact. I'm quite happy to cycle on roads as they are and where possible cycle off road on paths designated for pedestrians as well. I'd love to see better facilities for cyclists of course but my view is that this would be beneficial to a wider group than just cyclists. Motorists would benefit from an uptick in cycling - less cars on the roads, less traffic, less wear and tear, less potholes etc. Public health would be advantaged, less accidents and better health. The same arguments apply for people who make more journeys as pedestrians rather than as motorists. I'd like to see pedestrians provided for in a much better way than they are at the moment.
I suppose it comes down to whether or not you want to see all groups have equal treatment.
Positively my last word, at least for today, I have too much on. If I don't reply to your inevitable cut and paste response Jantra don't take it personally.
Are you ok? You are behaving extremely quixotically. Nothing that you are posting makes any sense. How can you justify taxing cycling when there is no VED on vehicles that emit under 100g of CO2 per km? The whole concept is flawed.
Also, many people who ride do so as they can't afford other forms of transport. I am sure Norman Tebbit didn't envisage taxing bikes or cycling when he suggested using this form of transport.
Firstly simon you never once used the word opinion. Secondly you said I need to rethink my argument. This would indicate you are saying I am wrong. You even used the word argument which would indicate once again that you can't tell the difference between a statement of fact and an opinion.
Your thread is all over the place, just saying
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