Cardiff cyclists call for council to grit Taff Trail

Council says it is prioritising main roads

Despite a number of reports of cyclists falling on ice, Cardiff council say the Taff Trail will not be gritted and that the decision that will not be reassessed until next year.

Wales Online reports that a number of people have fallen in recent days. One cyclist, Tom Gallard, said he had been forced onto the A470 because he knew that his normal commuting route, the Taff Trail, would be treacherous.

He said he had already seen quite a few people hurt themselves. “There were quite nasty bruises and damaged bikes. If you're a cyclist or a pedestrian you're actually a lot more vulnerable than someone in a car because you're on two wheels or two legs and don't have all the safety measures a car brings."

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Gallard points out that the Welsh Government's Active Travel Act states that major cycle routes should have a high priority when it comes to gritting.

Lib Dem councillor Ed Bridges wrote to the council earlier in the month, questioning why the Taff Trail wasn’t treated.

“The council talks a good game on cycling and sustainable travel – but their words aren’t backed up by action. The Taff Trail is the main cycle route into the city, but the council is refusing to do basic maintenance like gritting in icy conditions. Drivers have airbags and ABS, but at most cyclists only have a helmet to protect them. We need to do a lot more to help make cycling safe in Cardiff if we’re to get people out of their cars.”

In its response, the council’s cabinet support office said that resources available for winter maintenance operations were limited and that treatment was focused on roads which see the highest volume of traffic. “Difficult decisions have to be made when setting the routes that are routinely treated. However, cycle routes are treated where they form part of the carriageway which is on a designated salting route.”

They added that potential gritting of the Taff Trail would be considered as part of the annual review of the winter service.

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