Cardiff has become the latest UK city to commit to delivering safer walking and cycling routes, as it looks to ‘revolutionise’ transport options.
On 15 January, Cardiff Council published its Transport White Paper, which lays out an ‘ambitious’ 10-year plan to reduce congestion and improve air quality in the Welsh capital.
Increasing levels of walking and cycling is a key aspect of the plan, and the council pledges to ‘significantly enhance opportunities for active travel’ – describing the current infrastructure as ‘fragmented and incomplete’.
The council aims to achieve this by building a ‘high-quality, safe and fully segregated’ cycle network by 2026. This includes a complete route around the city centre, which will connect to each of the city’s six cycleways.
The white paper will also see speed limits on Cardiff’s roads set to 20mph by default – and road user pricing introduced.
Cllr Caro Wild, cabinet member for strategic planning and transport, said: “Cardiff’s current transport network was designed half a century ago for a city of 200,000 people.
“Today, once commuters, shoppers and visitors are taken into account our city has a daily population of almost half a million. No wonder our transport network is creaking – it’s no longer fit for purpose.
“We want to deliver a greener, healthier, less congested city, with an affordable public transport system that works for everyone.
“Cities that get transport right – work. They make life easier and better for residents, commuters and visitors.
“Cities that get transport wrong have the opposite effect, and right now, right here, with a climate emergency declared, the argument for change couldn’t be any more immediate.”
Plans applauded by Living Streets Cymru
The white paper has been welcomed by Living Streets Cymru, although the charity says walking must receive the same investment and infrastructure as public transport and cycling.
Rhiannon Hardiman, manager for Living Streets Cymru, said: “To make Cardiff a city for everyone, the council must place more of an emphasis on walking, the most accessible – and free – form of sustainable transport.
“We need a well-connected, attractive and safe walking network across the city to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport.
“Cardiff Council should introduce a walking plan with specific targets so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of walking.”