Cycle path plea: floodwater & sand must be cleared from the prom
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
Hundreds of people have backed calls for sand and floodwater to be cleared more regularly from the promenade in Swansea.
Sand gets whipped up from the beach onto many stretches of the prom, while large puddles form on the section either side of Sketty Lane after heavy rain, often all the way across it.
Swansea Bay cycling campaign group Wheelrights wants Swansea Council to address these issues more often – and it would also like the lights at the West Cross section of the prom extended eastwards.
Nearly 500 people have signed online and hard copy versions of the group’s petition.
The council said it regularly maintained the prom, including clearing water, but according to Wheelrights secretary Dareyoush Rassi, sand and floodwater were often left “for weeks”.
“This does not happen on roads, which are generally cleared quickly,” he said.
“Sand and floods are not only a problem for cyclists, they are also a challenge for walkers, runners and a range of people enjoying this wonderful foreshore path.”
He added: “We are also asking the council to extend the new lights from West Cross to the university. This path is regularly used by students and other commuters, however in the winter it is very dark in early evening, which deters people from using it.
“Women walkers and cyclists feel particularly vulnerable, and provision of lighting would be particularly timely given the current awareness around women’s safety.”
A Swansea cross-country runner, who asked not to be named, said puddles didn’t bother him as much as other people, and that the council had done a lot of work to improve the prom a couple of years ago.
But he said better drainage would help.
He said: “It would enhance that area no end, for all users.”
A council spokesman said sand and heavy rain was commonplace given the prom’s seaside location.
“It is regularly maintained and monitored for maintenance improvements and upgrades, including clearing up after very heavy rain like that experienced recently,” he said.
“We routinely clear hundreds of tonnes of sand from the area, especially after stormy weather.”
He added that opportunities to extend the West Cross lights were being looked at.
West Cross councillors Mark Child and Des Thomas funded the prom-side lights from their community budget – a sum given to all councillors to spend on local projects.
“We felt it was a really good idea, and it has proved to be very popular,” said Cllr Child.
He recalled it costing around £80,000 for the mile-long stretch of lights.
“It doesn’t surprise me that other people want to extend them,” he said.