The Queen Street Cycling Clampdown…

If you attempted to cycle down Queen Street today you may have had a big surprise. South Wales Police has been “conducting a cycling operation” on one of Cardiff’s key retail areas.

As we’ve discussed before, cycling on Queen Street is against the rules. There has been talk of lifting that ban over the years since it came into force, but it remains banned to this day.

Unlike some of Cardiff’s other wide paths that are occasionally branded “shared paths”, Queen Street appears to fall under the “pavement” classification where law enforcement is concerned. This means a maximum fine of £500 (…which believe it or not is £400 more than the fine for careless driving…but that’s an argument for another day).

We’re still in two minds about whether cycling along Queen Street, law aside, is a good idea. When we did a poll there was a general consensus that it should be allowed, but the “allowed, but within designated lanes” option was the most popular. However, until that happens and until the rules change, it’s probably best you don’t cycle on Queen Street, even if commercial vehicles appear to be just fine.

(It’s not as if they are at all dangerous to pedestrians, is it…)

However, in the absence of alternative arrangements that offer the relative safety from motorists that Queen Street provides, it smacks as a little heavy-handed to go fining people for just trying to get around safely.

Carrot & Stick

It won’t shock you to hear that we love cycling and we want more people to do it. Other cities like London have proved that there is pent-up demand for more cycling, but the infrastructure –the carrot if you will, needs to encourage people to do it. People need to feel safe cycling around Cardiff and protected bike lanes are clearly the way to go.

Currently we’re only really seeing the “stick” here in Cardiff. You can count the number of cycling-related developments embarked upon by the council in recent years on one hand. Frustratingly, much of it has been installed prior to 2018 has been of poor quality and below the standards expected by the Active Travel Act.

This makes it more than a little frustrating that the police are cracking down on the relatively small number of Cardiff’s population that is daring to make the best of what we have. Even so, until the council conducts its review of cycling on Queen Street, currently in the transport plan for 2019/20, it’s probably best you re-evaluate your route through town. We’re happy to provide advice on how, should you need it.

What we CAN do is write to our local councillors and ask that they bring that review forward. Power rests in the councillors hands, so nothing happens without pressure from residents.

11 thoughts on “The Queen Street Cycling Clampdown…

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  1. Awgrymiad arall fydde:
    – FoI am yr holl anafiadau a achosir yn flynyddol oherwydd beicio anystywallt
    – Cymhariaeth â’r niferoedd cyfateb ar gyfer ceir ayyb
    – Ymgyrch llythyru at y Comisiynydd Heddlu i ofyn a ydy’r amser a’r adnoddau a werir ar erlid beicwyr yn cyfateb â’r ‘bygythiad’.


  2. and another suggestion: If cyclists wantot be taken seriously and want to be treated fairly, they need to behave as responsible road users. This means NOT jumping the lights, STOPPING at pedestrian crossings when there are pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross, NOT weaving in and out of pedestrians on shared lanes, BEING considerate to other road users (yes even people driving taxis, “white vans” and buses, OBSERVING the rules regarding rights of way, BEING considerate to pedestrians even when they (the cyclists) have every right to be there, SAYING thank you when people move out of their way, NOT cycling on the pavement when there is a perfectly useable road. I’ve been cycling this way for 35 years, mostly in London and lately in Cardiff, I have – touch wood – not had an accident and still get where I am going quickly and safely. Think about it. When you are on your bike you are a road user just like every other road user. WE know we have the moral high ground but that carries some responsibility.


    1. What’s all that got to do with whether cycling is allowed on Queen St, Thomas? If we have to wait until all cyclists meet those standards to make any requests for better treatment, then we’ll be waiting for ever. Motorists are already accorded all kinds of special privileges, even though they kill hundreds of people every year. I hardly think being allowed to ride on a particular pedestrianised street (linking up to other pedestrianised streets like Working St where we’re already allowed to ride) should be dependent on a massive behavioural or cultural revolution.


    2. Thomas, do you offer CLASSES on how to be as perfect AS you? I’m sure all us terrible CYCLISTS would love to be able TO benefit FROM your experience.

      If we could ALL be at your level, maybe cyclists COULD be provided with A safe route from one SIDE of Cardiff to THE other.


      1. What a shame that cyclists behaving considerately & reaponsibly needs classes and a cultural shift. Sad really.


  3. Don;t know if it still is, but at one time the Strava record for riding the length of queens street emant whoever giot it had avergae 50mk/h along there.


  4. A year ago, Cardiff’s cycling Liaison group told the Council it’s contrary to the Active Travel legislation to exclude cyclists from a highway used by motor vehicles. Their response – set it for review in the distant future…. and then come up with some delaying ‘experiment’. Let’s see if the legal requirement for a Cycle route network map will force them to include Queen Street.


  5. This is really frustrating. I’ve been riding my bike to work through town for 6 years. Never have I ever had anything said to me by regular people or the police. But this past week, I’ve been told by 2 or 3 pedestrians and by police on 2 occasions to get off my bike… And the last one told me theres an immediate £30 fine.

    Bare in mind, there are loads of cycle ‘racks’ to lock your bike, a company “deliveroo” that almost exclusively use cyclists based IN town, AND the fact vehicles can drive up and down the street all day.
    Is just ridiculous how someone on a bicycle can’t ride along the veerry wide street. It’s actually MORE of an obstruction to get off and walk alongside my bike, since I’ll then be double the width.

    They can at least compromise and paint cycle paths or something.


  6. Yeah this is how I feel. Been cycling to work from North Cardiff to the bay for 2-3 years and would go onto Queen Street if needed and never has anyone mentioned anything to me. Went on it today about 5 meters and an officer stops me and gives me a £50 fine on the spot!! He mentioned the signs a few times so I went back to look and it is a really small sign about 15 foot up a lamppost. Who the hell is going to see that?!


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