Cardiff Council has set out a vision to double the proportion of cycle trips within the city by 2030. Its plan is to develop Cardiff so that walking or cycling is the first choice of transport for short trips within the city. To facilitate this movement and increase connectivity within the city, there is a requirement to develop safe, practical and accessible cycling infrastructure for communities within Cardiff.
An Arup team of transport planners and civil engineers has been working closely with Cardiff Council to develop proposals for a network of cycleways. Five primary route corridors have been identified and will connect major destinations, existing communities and strategic development sites across the city.
Working with Local Transport Projects (LTP), Arup has completed the preliminary concept design for the first four routes. The development of over 30km of new, primarily segregated cycle routes will be part of an important step-change to improve Cardiff's cycling infrastructure.
30km of new cycle routes
115%projected increase in cycling
An essential need for cycleways
The requirement for a network of cycling routes within Cardiff came in response to pressing obligations arising from the Active Travel Act (Wales) for councils to continually improve active travel routes within Cardiff. A strategic network would help encourage communities to prioritise walking and cycling over driving, by connecting schools, businesses and key sites across the city through integrated active travel infrastructure. Cardiff Council had an indication of the areas that should form part of the network but lacked clarity around the specific routes that would enable connectivity as part of the integrated cycleway.
Developing the optimal path
Arup’s role supported the development of a clear vision. The process involved reviewing and mapping the existing network of cycle routes to identify routes that were unsuitable and unable to meet the intended standard or which could be upgraded to provide part of the future network. This work enabled the identification of two new primary route corridors to complete the network. Our work appraised different route options within the two corridors to establish the proposed routes and required infrastructure. The two routes have subsequently been split into five route sections for further development.
Maintaining health and safety
Health and safety considerations are critical for the success of any active travel scheme within towns and cities. We led the Principal Designer scope of the project to ensure pre-construction health and safety measures were considered for the whole-life of the project.
Our team conducted a series of extensive site visits to provide first-hand experience into the existing routes. These site visits, alongside desk research, allowed mapping of constraints and enabled the identification of hazards on this urban highway corridor. Significant design risk reviews that influenced the following stages of the project included kerbside parking considerations, interactions with pedestrians at bus stop locations, existing infrastructure and utilities, flooding risks, plus connectivity with the existing road network for cyclists at key junctions and route ends.
Creating integrated cycling infrastructure
The design process was interactive and the result of a collaboration with Cardiff Council and LTP. The implementation of routes has been phased starting with main priority areas that connect the city centre, Cardiff University and Cardiff Bay. Cardiff Council is progressing plans by carrying out the detailed design of the extended route across the city.
The first section of the cycleway opened in January 2020 and the cycling infrastructure will continue to extend across the city, helping promote cycling for all ages and abilities within Cardiff.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the network has evolved. Other routes have become more prevalent and have accelerated temporary active travel methods being deployed across the city. Arup continues to support Cardiff Council with its active travel schemes.