Whilst we in Cardiff wait patiently for Cardiff Council to spring into life and start delivering on their Active Travel obligations, it probably hasn’t escaped anyone’s attention that there’s a bit of a revolution happening in London right now.
One of Boris Johnson’s better actions as Mayor was to establish a network of “Cycle Superhighways”, or protected cycleways around London. Despite the scheme being largely unfinished, it has seen a significant number of people taking to two wheels.
Andrew Gilligan is a reporter for the Telegraph, but also London’s cycling commissioner. On Tuesday he published an excellent article on the Evening Standard that should be required reading for anyone with an interest in active travel.
Many people think of cyclists as somehow a separate species, unconnected to the rest of the transport system. But of course everyone who starts cycling is someone who’s no longer taking up space on the bus, or the Tube, or anything like as much space on the roads.
On a related note, an infographic has appeared from across the pond in New York, where a similar development began back in 2007.
It says that on 9th Avenue, pedestrian and cyclist injuries are down by over 50%, commercial vacancies are also down but retail sales are up.
We don’t think it would be unfair to say that the case for protected (not shared, not advisory lanes & red paint) cycle lanes in Cardiff is a complete no-brainer.
We do hope that Cardiff Council is taking note of what is happening in other cities around the world where good cycle infrastructure is being installed. These are the cities that will attract the inward investment; will enjoy better air quality and better health outcomes if the council does not.