New pop-up bike lanes in Cardiff will be put up in September on some of the city’s busiest roads.
The segregated lanes will separate cyclists from cars and other traffic with plastic bollards and semi-permanent kerbs bolted down.
Cyclists will be able to ride across the city along main roads from Adamsdown in the east to Cardiff City Stadium in the west. A second lane will follow the main roads across the south of the railway from Splott to Grangetown.
The Cross City route will run from Leckwith Road and Wellington Street, through Castle Street — which already has a new pop-up cycle lane — then along Boulevard de Nantes, down Dumfries Place and up Newport Road until the junction with Broadway.
The Bay Loop route will run from the Magic Roundabout, down East Tyndall Street, joining the route on Lloyd George Avenue before going over Callaghan Square, and then ending on Penarth Road.
The new lanes are part of Cardiff council ’s plans to help the city recover from Covid-19, and also part of its wider transport policy to get more people cycling and out of cars.
The start of the lockdown saw a dramatic fall in the number of people driving, as many people began working from home and stopped commuting, making cycling much safer. Half the amount of traffic is currently travelling through Cardiff city centre compared to before lockdown.
Also, a key part of the council’s plans to cut carbon emissions is to get fewer people driving and more people walking, cycling or taking public transport.
Caro Wild, cabinet member for strategic planning and transport, said: “Traffic on our roads has reduced dramatically now that a number of businesses and organisations are opting to let their staff remain working from home.
“Current traffic levels are at 66 per cent of pre-lockdown numbers, with the traffic flow in the city centre lower still at 50 per cent.
“While traffic has reduced, the use of the Nextbike scheme has increased significantly during lockdown, with more than 14,000 new customers, which clocked up an impressive 114,383 rentals from March to June.”
As social distancing rules remain on buses and trains, transport planners are concerned more people will choose to drive rather than take public transport as employees go back to work.
Cycling is seen as a greener alternative solution, that also avoids more congested roads — but one of the main obstacles preventing people starting to ride a bike is concerns about safety.
Cllr Wild said: “With public transport providers running at reduced capacity, lots of people are now choosing to walk and cycle in Cardiff. This is great news, great for people’s health and great for the environment. We want to ensure that anyone who is able to cycle can do so, in a safer and more attractive way.
“We know there are people new to cycling, including very young people, and we have to do everything in our power to ensure these people are as safe as possible.”
The council has put both routes out to tender, and will consult the public before installing the new bike lanes in September.