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Cardiff’s new ‘pop-up’ cycleway on Newport Road delayed by more than a year

12 Jan 2022 3 minute read
The unfinished pop-up cycleway on Newport Road Picture: Alex Seabrook

Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter

Work to finish a new pop-up cycleway in Cardiff, which runs across the city centre east to west, has been delayed by more than a year.

While a large section of the route is already open—from Atlas Road, along Castle Street, and ending on Dumfries Place—the section along Newport Road is still not finished.

Cardiff council initially said this new bike lane would be quick to install and ready by Christmas 2020.

But the route is still under construction along Newport Road, leaving both cyclists and drivers with less space on the road than before.

Another pop-up cycleway along Tyndall Street also remains unfinished. Initial plans showed this route connecting along to Penarth Road, south of the train station, but this work has not yet begun.

A council spokesman blamed the pandemic and said both routes would be finished very soon.

The spokesman said: “The Covid-19 pandemic caused a lag in production and a consequent rise in demand for raw materials, which led to significant delays in materials being delivered.

“This was beyond our control. The knock-on effect meant the cycleways’ installation and completion dates were pushed back.

“On top of this we have had to undertake repeated safety and traffic flow testing, and ongoing dialogue with user groups as we seek to make the changes work for as many people as possible.”

Pop Up Cycleway Map Picture: Cardiff council.

Another issue is delivery vans and taxis using already completed sections of these cycleways, with frequent photos in recent weeks of vans parked on the new bike lane on Wellfield Road.

Campaigner Gwenda Owen, chair of Cardiff Cycle City, said it was “crucial” to have cycling infrastructure which people feel is safe and convenient to use, to encourage more active travel. Cycling along Newport Road recently—along the bus lane next to the unfinished and closed bike lane—she said people in a car passing by her shouted abuse at her for cycling.

She said: “The bit of cycle lane on Newport Road isn’t yet open, so I was using the bus lane. Someone took offence that I was using the road, rolled her window down, and proceeded to shout at me. It was quite shocking.

“People need to understand why we need to have cycle lanes—and why sometimes they won’t be used. Although Cardiff council is doing a damn good effort to deliver decent infrastructure in difficult circumstances.”

The latest date for when the Newport Road section is due to finish is by the end of this month, with the section along Tyndall Street also completed “very soon”. Meanwhile, separate work has already begun for a permanent section along Cathays Terrace.

The council spokesman added: “Significant sections of the pop-up cycleway on Newport Road, which runs from Dumfries Place to Atlas Road in Canton, have been operational since March 2021. The final section on Newport Road, which will complete the route, is due to open by the end of January.

“The pop-up cycleway on Tyndall Street was also delayed due to a technical issue relating to the street lighting on this route, but we also expect this route to be open very soon.”

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