Summer Newsletter - Bike Week Again

Well it is bike week……………


Yes, it happens every year with the inevitability a south westerly howling breeze on the Millennium Path when you’re riding back from Lidl with a week’s shopping but it’s Bike Week again and to celebrate Phil and I are going to visit the Highways people in Carmarthenshire on Friday.

We’ll be trying to understand why a safe route for cyclists was left out of the new layout at Trostre / Pemberton – but I’m not sure I’ll ever get my head round that one. After all we are dealing with a council where somebody thought that sticking a Pub in the middle of a roundabout with no safe pedestrian access was a good idea – go for a drive to the pub but don’t you dare try and walk there you might end up drinking and walking!

More seriously, following the Sustrans “Active Travel Act (ATA) Design” Training Day that some of us attended we will be hoping to provide some meaningful input into the council’s interpretation of its responsibilities under the Act. Conversations with other campaigners both within the CTC and Sustrans suggest that hardly any proposed Active Travel Routes across Wales are getting close to passing the audit – just to remind you an Active Travel Route is “any journey on foot or bicycle that is made to school, work, the shops, the cinema, church, chapel or wherever there is an ultimate destination”.

The County Council have promised that the ridiculous unlockable-lockable, too short for a real bike with grown-up handlebars bike stand at Burry Port bus stop will be removed and replaced with a decent Sheffield style rack. We did suggest that taking some of the car parking space in the bays outside the Coop or butchers and replacing it with bike racks would be a good idea and be in the spirit of the ATA. This was knocked back as it could be “an obstruction” – like a car isn’t! 

Letter from the First Minister!! - after persistent correspondence between us and Edwina Hart, Minister for Transport and the Economy, we had at least got an admission that the Trunk Road cycle schemes were awarded using a "flawed" process. Anyway, Carwyn Jones our First Minister no less has responded to the Forum with good news and bad news. Bad news is that the St Clears to Bancyfelin "missing link" has not been successful this year BUT they will indeed be considering the Cross Hands Roundabout!! Maybe our first significant success......!! Don’t forget, Carwyn wants Wales to be more like The Netherlands which was the main reason for the Active Travel Act in the first place.

Another success!Phil Snaith cycled to Capel Hendre Business Park from the Cwmgwili direction and was confronted with a kissing gate over which he had to lift his bike. On his return he met a cycle commuter who has to do this twice a day on his way to and from Cefneithin. A few e-mails later and officers of the County Council have agreed to remove it and make access much easier by bicycle. Moral of the story - if your point is good enough (or in this case the obstruction so obviously stupid!!) sense will prevail and good things can get done. Using the Forum works!!

Other fronts - we have written to the Director of Education regarding cycle access in and around the new school in Llandeilo hoping that the development could help link the town to the B road without using the main A road. No reply as yet.

The work on the extension along the traffic free section of Route 4 west from Pembrey is due to commence this month – I'm really looking forward to this one!

Finally, a plea from us all here in CCF Towers, if you have news from your part of the county or if you wish to bring anything to the attention of the Council at next week’s meeting, please let us know – either through the website or Facebook.

Ride On!