If you’ve ever thought to yourself “this place could really do with a cycle route, or a pavement to walk on that doesn’t require a keen sense of balance”, Commonplace is for you.
The Welsh Government is promoting Commonplace as a platform to engage the community and identify the areas that need an intervention.
Have your say
Hosted by Commonplace, the website invites people to let their local councils know where they’d like to see improvements to walking and cycling paths. This could be because routes are interrupted, feel unsafe or even don’t exist where they are needed. Each area will have its own Commonplace website which members of the public can access via a national page and people are encouraged to share with their friends, families and colleagues so that as many people as possible have their say.Have your say about local walking and cycling routes | GOV.WALES
Whilst it is up to individual councils to switch on their Commonplace map, Cardiff and a few of our immediate neighbours already have.
Areas for improvement
I’m racking my brain trying to think of areas that could do with some improvement, there are a couple of places that spring to mind.
Vale of Glamorgan
Whilst the Vale has some great lanes, they’re not for the faint of heart in the dark, which is most of the time from November onwards. A safe route between Dinas Powys and Barry is sorely needed. I know a number of people who commute into Cardiff from Barry, but there are no doubt those who commute from Dinas Powys or Penarth into Barry as well. As it stands, Cardiff Road is horrid and doesn’t even have a pavement to walk on.
Rhondda Cynon Taf
I don’t even know where to begin rolling back RCT’s car dependence. Aside from the secluded railway tracks that have been converted to shared paths it doesn’t have a great deal of provision for walking or cycling.
With that said, the railway paths do tend to follow the valley floor rather than scale the mountains, so perhaps they could just do with better signage, lighting and maintenance. There is some nice riding to be had around RCT if you know where to look.
It must be said, I’m astonished by the progress Cardiff has been making lately. Whilst they do appear to have a plan, I have little doubt that they will act on suggestions made on Commonplace as well.
From a purely selfish perspective, living in the Pentyrch area, improving the link between Taffs Well and Tongwynlais would be really helpful, as would improving the connection from Morganstown, providing it doesn’t interfere with the Transport For Wales plans for the Gelynis Farm area —the Gelynis Construction Compound.
It’s probably also a really big ask, but a way into or out of Pentyrch that doesn’t require scaling Heol Goch or the mountain road, hairpin & all, would be really helpful. Pentyrch generates an awful lot of traffic, primarily because it is served by infrequent buses and there are no pavements or cycle routes on the roads into or out of it.
However, the beauty of platforms like Commonplace is that local knowledge can be tapped in ways that councils acting alone would struggle to do. So, get tagging and voting folks.