In the documents, the site-map shows the Ely trail to continue next to the river through to Cowbridge Rd West, opposite Wroughton Place, as cyclists were told in early meetings.
The cycle/pedestrian bridge ending in Dyfrig Road does not provide the “high quality access to Caerau and Trelai Park” set in the remit. The purpose of the newly designed mega junction is given as “not harm the free flow of traffic” with no acknowledgement of providing high quality for cyclists and pedestrians.
You were misinformed about the cycle-trail using the new bridge and Dyfrig Rd. Condition 12 in the officers' report says the bridge is access route for pedestrians and cyclists to Dyfrig Road with Reason: To ensure that pedestrians and cyclists are provided with a high quality access to Caerau and Trelai Park. It doesn't, so someone has blundered.
Someone needs to tell them the bridge is in the wrong place to directly access Caerau and Trelai Park. -- not a nearly a mile detour from Dyfrig Road. Jacqui Gasson exCllr for Caerau tells me that Dyfrig Road is private and the residents will oppose the bridge and told her they could prevent people using the new bridge by creating a barrier.
Also the engineering design for the road junction shows the Ely Trail along the roadway and crossing Cowbridge road West there. It also takes out pavement and removes the cycleway down Cowbridge Rd West. The officers can't have informed Councillors about this dreadful design for walkers and cyclists, which may explain why they put up no roadside site notices and rushed it through without public consultation (not a single public response from the Caerau side, except for an old letter about flooding).
A connection to Dyfrig Road - a more southerly connection would be more beneficial for Leckworth residents and for access to Trelai Park
The recent Officers’ report does not acknowledge that the Arup report fails a) to mention the disruption of the cycleway on the pavement from Ely Bridge through Ely roundabout onto Cowbridge Rd East, b) to justify making cyclists and pedestrians share the footpath (an inferior option in Welsh policy), and c) to explain the choice of this inferior position for the Ely Trail crossing of the major Cowbridge road.
Nor does the officers’ report say that the Paramics model fails to cover cycling and walking movements, so that the Arup report also fail to cover these ‘transport’ modes. Likewise the endorsement of the Arup/Paramics scheme in Condition 11a fails to pay due account to the interests of cyclists.
The Council appears to have push the amended proposals through Committee without proper consultation and information. We consider that the EIA procedures make the Committee approval invalid, so the plans have to be re-opened.
The Consultants Atkins are quite wrong in claiming
# the changes make “no material change to the development proposals”
# the “changes are not likely to affect the outcome of any pre-application consultation”
# “the proposed changes will not have an effect on the environment”.
Since this is specified information for this EIA application, the Council needs to challenge such wrong statements; the officers’ report fails to do so.
The rate of 0.25 vehicular trips per household during the AM or PM peak hours used to calculate the impact is not credible with the limited public transport and poor cycling provision to schools, library and shops in Victoria Park and Caerau. The 12/13-buses to be routed through the site are subject to rush-hour and school-time congestion (on Broad St). Cardiff Bus are about to cut the service to one per half-hour and no money is available to subsidise more frequent services, if only for a start-up period. The low peak-hour trip figures are supposedly related to the target of a 50:50 modal split; there is no evidence these extraordinary low trip rates would be achieved and no proposed measures to pressurise the developer to achieve them.
The cycle bridge into Dyfrig Road provides only a contorted road route to the Trelai Park and Caerau schools. This choice instead of the direct traffic-free route shows disregard of priority planning for pedestrians and cyclists. It does not meet the mention of this in (s. 5.3) “initial concerns”:
• Improvements would be needed to pedestrian and cycle links (… connections across the River Ely to the neighbouring Ely Park area)
Nor does it meet the Reason in Condition 12
“To ensure that pedestrians and cyclists are provided with a high quality access to Caerau and Trelai Park.
No reason is given for not choosing another position for the foot/cycle bridge that would achieve these objectives, while a practicable amendment using land owned by the Council could do so.
The Council appears to be in default of its duties on road safety and its specific duty under the Active Travel (Wales) Act in virtually ignoring cyclists and pedestrians in considering the Arup document and amendments.
As the officers accept Arup’s claim “the proposed changes will not have an effect on the environment”we point out the ‘amendments’ mean
# significant traffic loading/changes on Cowbridge Road West to take private vehicles from 219 houses, instead of buses and emergency vehicles only.
# expanded junction disrupting the current cycle/walkway from the Ely roundabout (used 2-way to reach Cowbridge Rd East) with narrow 2m path to the river Ely bridge forcing cyclists onto a complex fast highway.
# the Ely Trail forced onto the pavement of the access road instead of combined with the footpath route to opposite Wroughton Place.
# an inferior complex crossing for the Ely Trail instead a straight-forward crossing to Wroughton Place.
# the £5 million cost of road works for the junction takes funds that should go to high quality cycling and walking links (and other small schemes described)
A new rail station is proposed, given on the site map as at the existing bridge-under adjacent to Sanatorium Road. We consider that is the wrong position; the "Ely Mill" station should be further north on the Ely Mill land and integrated with the foot/cycle crossing of the main line. Whichever position is selected, good quality cycle-routes to it need to be identified from and outside the development area (the Council's siting does not appear to be serious, which would explain their lack of regard to this).
The lack of S.106 moneys coming to cycling is unfair and fails to reflect general policy for increased finance for cycling (and walking) as transport modes. Cycling should get a substantial percentage (eg. 25%) of the amount claimed for traffic IT and controls as well as that for the northern access. It would properly go towards cycle-routes in the neighbourhood, in conformity with the need for better connectivity with the surrounding areas and resolving places of conflict, in accord with TAN12.