The Labour-controlled Cardiff Council has set up illuminated signs on Penarth Road – warning incoming motorists of the planned “Car Free Day” it has scheduled for September 22nd.
However the so-called “World Car Free Day” (which copies an idea pioneered in Paris) – isn’t going to be quite as draconian in Cardiff as it may sound .
It’s now transpired that only one road in Cardiff – Park Place – is to be closed off to traffic from 20:00 on 21 September until midnight on 22 September to make way for a street market including a “sustainable transport exhibition”. All other roads will remain open.
At Cardiff Council’s ” Cycle Liaison Group”, Labour councillor Richard Cook said the decision to only close one road in the capital was ” very frustrating”. He was one of three councillors who had wanted major road closures across the city centre and said a motion supporting a “car-free day” had been overwhelmingly passed at full council in October last year .
However scores of objections to the doctrinaire scheme had come from Cardiff residents, drivers and local businesses – forcing ‘cabinet’ member Cllr Ramesh Patel to limit the projected closure to just one street.
Cllr Patel said “We are highly supportive of a traffic free day and the principles behind it, and therefore we are conducting this important trial on a major road. It would be grossly irresponsible of us to widen the area until we have fully reviewed the implications of the current proposal.”
The anti-car, pro-cycling “charity” Sustrans – which is largely funded by taxpayers’ money and by bicycle manufacturers (and which wants everyone to walk, cycle or use public transport) has also expressed its displeasure at Cardiff’s half-hearted car-free plan . Sustrans said “We would expect any car-free city day to be on the scale that has been seen in Paris, involving a large part of the city centre.”
No plans have been announced for a car-free day in Penarth.