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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 January, 2004, 11:11 GMT
Congestion claim over bus lane
Caerphilly Road
Bus lanes are planned along Caerphilly Road
Residents of a busy Cardiff road are to deliver a 3,000-name petition protesting at plans for a new bus and cycle route.

Opponents say the A469 running along Caerphilly Road and Thornhill Road in the north of the city is already busy at rush hour, and would become more congested with a bus lane.

A residents' action committee wants any development of the road to be carried out in consultation with them.

However, a cycling group has welcomed the proposal, which it says is essential if the council is to meet transport targets.

Thornhill Road resident Paul Lenartowicz said: "They put out a consultation, a set of outline plans if you like.

"The problem with that is it's not in full detail but we just think the whole scheme is half-baked and won't actually achieve what they want it to achieve."

He said the lane would affect quality of life by increasing congestion and pollution.

Both cyclists and bus users stand to gain enormously from the changes proposed, whereas motorists will be hardly affected
Max Wallis, Cardiff Cycling Campaign

According to Mr Lenartowicz, the council's two stated aims were to reduce bus journey times into the city centre and cut city centre traffic over the next five to 10 years.

He said: "They want to cut 10 minutes off a 35-minute journey from Llanishen into the centre.

"They've admitted to us that most hold-ups take place south of Gabalfa and they'll only save two-and-a-half minutes on this section."

The A469 was already operating at maximum capacity, he added, and claimed the council would be better off targeting other roads if it wanted to reduce city centre traffic.

"All they would do is make it slower for cars arriving in the city centre."

Railway

Mr Lenartowicz suggested some alternatives to altering the road, including putting passing places on the single-track Coryton railway line to enable more trains to run.

"Coryton is underused and the train goes to town and back.

"The former atomic weapons place on Caerphilly Road could be made into a park and ride.

"Mini shuttle-bus services could take people back and forth to the railway.

Caerphilly crossroads
Traffic lights could be installed at the Caerphilly crossroads
"What we're saying is there are other ways of doing it."

Cardiff Cycling Campaign, which is backing the proposal, thinks bike and bus users have had a "raw deal" up to now.

Chair Max Wallis said: "Both cyclists and bus users stand to gain enormously from the changes proposed, whereas motorists will be hardly affected.

"We applaud the council for this scheme and look forward to its early completion."

He added that the creation of parking bays along the road would end "haphazard" blocking of cycle lanes by parked cars, and a plan to replace a roundabout with traffic lights would make cycling safer.

A spokeswoman for Cardiff council said it had been conducting face-to-face meetings between councillor Michael Michael, who is responsible for transport, and local residents.

"They are open meetings where the public can have their say on the scheme and part of the consultation process carried out by Cardiff council.

"Following consultation - which is still ongoing - the next step will be chief officers from transportation and traffic drawing up a final set of plans in further consultation with any partnership groups or organisations."

She said there were no definite dates for a start of work.


SEE ALSO:
Commuter route bus lane anger
10 Dec 03  |  South East Wales
Bus lane cameras standing idle
24 Oct 03  |  Berkshire
Cyclists make room for buses
20 Oct 03  |  Cambridgeshire


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