Residents split on new Roath Rec cycle path

Unexpected council proposal given shortest consultation period allowed

THE announcement of a new cycle path to run alongside Roath Recreation Ground has produced mixed reactions from nearby residents.

There is already a rough track, which is often muddy and boggy, running between Ninian Road and Roath Rec.

Cardiff Council’s plan is to widen and refurbish this path to allow a cycle route in the same space.

The widening would lead to more grass being removed, making the refurbished path closer to the sports pitches, which are used often for rugby and football.

Roath Rec’s sport pitches which face a loss of ground with the planned cycle path development
(Photo: Edward Burnett)

Anne-Maria Salmon, who has lived on Ninian Road for 30 years, said: “The cycle lane will lead to less space for football and children playing.

“To put it on the same side of the park as the road means that these children will have to cross over it to play.”

The proposal was announced on March 9, but no other mention of it can be seen it the council’s previously published plans and maps.

In an older council map, which highlights proposed paths for 2019-21, there is no mention of a proposed cycle route alongside Roath Rec at all.

No cycle path is presented near Ninian Road or even Roath Rec in general, which is in the centre of the map
(Photo: Cardiff Council)

Additionally, although another of Cardiff Council’s maps from around the same time acknowledges a new cycle path alongside Roath Rec, it is shown on the opposite side of the green, next to Ty-Draw Road.

This plan shows the cycle path running alongside Ty-Draw Road, on the opposite side of Roath Rec
(Photo: Cardiff Council)

This route seems to be more popular with residents, who argue that its would suit that side of the Rec instead.

Mrs Salmon added: “I think the cycle lane would be better on the Ty-Draw Road side of the park, where children don’t continually have to walk across a cycle track to get to the  grass for playing.

“If the cycle track were put next to the pavement on Ty-Draw, then no part of the park would be lost, and the park would be safer for children to use.”

Ty-Draw Road and its adjacent path where original plans had pointed to for a new cycle route
(Photo: Edward Burnett)

The plan was given only a three-week consultation period, the shortest the council can legally give, much to the annoyance of some Penylan residents.

Jeremy Sparkes, 62, who lives on Kimberley Road, said: “I’m amazed that the council has come up with a plan for a shared cycle and pedestrian route that isn’t on any of the other plans they’ve produced.

“Most importantly, why are they putting pedestrians at risk when there are alternative options that are equally viable, and probably cheaper, that will keep pedestrians safer from not having to share with cycles?”

The visualisation of the new refurbished path which was included in the consultation pack
(Photo: Cardiff Council)

Other residents had a more positive reaction.

Luke Oliver, 42, wholiv es on Grasmere Avenue, said: “The council consultation shows that they’re taking cycling, safety and the environment seriously, and this can only be a good thing.

“There are always moans from certain quarters, but this is exactly the sort of investment and policy priority we need.”

Roath Rec from the Ty-Draw Road side
(Photo: Edward Burnett)

Some believe the proposed change could lead to an easing of traffic congestion.

Stephen Hughes, 23, of Donald Street, said: “The improvements to the pavements and crossings at the Wellfield Road and Ninian Road junction are really welcome.

“Anyone who has tried to cross there when it’s busy will know it’s not fit for purpose, with people stepping out into the road because there’s no room. This will definitely make that area safer for pedestrians.”

The junction where Ninian Road meets Wellfield Road shown in the March proposal
(Photo: Cardiff Council)

Steve Gabriel, 42, of Cardiff Social Cycling said: “Any type of cycling infrastructure that encourages people to get out of their cars and be more active is always nice.

“Some of the new lanes in Cardiff are fantastic but others are not so well thought out. As long as the lanes work then happy days.”

The consultation will end on March 30, with work on the path expected to begin later on in the year.

Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, has been approached for comment.