Cardiff City Council’s aim to double the number of cyclists over the next nine years has been welcomed by Thompsons Solicitors but with a warning about cyclist safety. 

The authority aims to make Wales’ capital more cycle-friendly for people making short journeys. It is predicted that by 2026 the city’s population will grow by nearly 80,000 and the number of jobs will increase by 40,000. 

The report that informed the plans found that 52 per cent of car trips currently beginning in the city were less than 5km – a distance that can be cycled in roughly 20 minutes. The council hopes that half of all trips in the city will be made by sustainable modes of transport by 2026. The plans follow a British government consultation in June 2016, which set out plans to double the number of bicycle journeys made in the UK by 2025. 

While Thompsons Solicitors welcomes the motivation behind the plans, it cautions that more needs to be done to ensure the appropriate financial resources are provided by Westminster to ensure that bold plans like those in Cardiff keep cyclists safe. 

“We welcome any forward-thinking plans to encourage cycling on the UK’s roads, but creating and maintaining infrastructure improvements to correspond with the increase in cyclists is no easy task and it shouldn’t be done on the cheap to just tick a box,” said Anthony Welsh, a serious injury solicitor based at Thompsons’ Cardiff office. 

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), 21,287 cyclists suffered an injury on the roads in 2014 alone, of which 3,401 were seriously injured and 113 killed

“Cardiff council has suggested a ‘phased delivery’ of new cycle routes, but there is little clarification regarding how this will be funded and when, despite admitting that the current infrastructure is ‘fragmented’ and ‘incomplete’,” Mr Welsh said. 

“Bits of blue paint on the road which is what they started off with in London doesn’t stop motorists straying into or parking in bike lanes.  What is needed is segregated cycle lanes and hopefully that will be included in future plans to avoid any cyclists being unnecessarily injured on Cardiff’s roads.”