Now that the woolly gloves have now been taken out of their summer-long siesta, we need to keep one eye on the colder, darker months that lay ahead.
We are likely to face another winter like last winter, where Cardiff’s sole off-road cycle routes become not just dark but icy too. However, before the first icy night we’re also going to have a few months of sloshing through leaf mulch, so things are going to be generally slippery from here on in.
However, it shouldn’t be that way. Other countries with winters far worse than ours manage to get this right. If you want to create a modal shift in transport use, you have to make sure the alternative choices are viable for 12 months of the year. Take Copenhagen for example:
The result? Clear channels on which the bicycle traffic can move. Prioritizing the bike lanes is, of course, a great and necessary way to encourage people to ride bicycles all through the year. On the other hand, it is also a practical necessity. If the bicycle lanes weren’t cleared, a whole lot of people on the day after a snowstorm wouldn’t ride. Tens of thousands. They would seek alternatives. Cars, perhaps, but mostly public transport. Imagine the complications of having tens of thousands of people suddenly show up at train stations and bus stops. A logistical nightmare. So keeping the bike lanes clear is an important factor in keeping Copenhagen moving.
So, continuing with the principle of “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”, we once again ask that you kindly drop your councillors a line.
You’ll find your councillors by ward on the Council website. All you need to do is find your councillor and just drop them a quick email asking them that they please keep the Taff and Ely trails cleared and gritted this year, before many of us end up at A&E again this winter.