Local residents living along Lavernock Road have been advised that work is due to begin today (Monday January 8th) on building a new “Sustrans” high-speed cycle track immediately outside their homes.
The grass verge outside their houses – where grass and wild flowers grow – is to be dug up and replaced with a hard-surfaced cycle track running from a crossing opposite the entrance of Cosmeston Country Park to a prominent local house “Cosmeston House”. The track will continue through a small lane to Brockhill Way.
The installation of the new cycle track is to be funded by a grant from the vociferous and aggressive cycling “charity” Sustrans – an organisation part-funded by the bicycle manufacturers which itself relies on a steady stream of government grants funded by taxpayers’ money.
The project is also to include a “Toucan” pedestrian/cycle crossing across Lavernock Road. Local resident Jonathan Cole says understands the need for the crossing but has no idea why the Vale of Glamorgan Council apparently considers “there is an overwhelming need for a length of cycle track that appears to go nowhere”.
He says “My understanding is that the cycle path will stretch from the crossing near the entrance to Cosmeston Park and terminates outside my house, at this point it rejoins the footpath and then continues through a small lane to Brockhill Way. If the intention is to provide a safe space for pedestrians to walk without fear of being struck by a cyclist then I have to say, given the circumstances it fails miserably. Even more so when you consider that because of the dangers to pedestrians, cycling is no longer permissible on the cliff top path. How is it that mixed used of a footpath is permissible on Lavernock Road but not on the cliff top?”
Mr Cole also asks the Vale Council whether it intends to move a telegraph pole which is currently located in the middle of the soon-to-be-dug-up grass verge and whether he will still be allowed to place refuse and recycling on what will become the new Sustrans cycle track – and, if so, who is liable if a speeding cyclist collides with his recycling bags?
There are also concerns that the installation of the cycle track will visually damage the essentially rural appeal of the area and seems to fly in the face of the Vale Council’s legal obligations to protect the countryside environment.
There’s been no consultation with local residents. Local home owners were only informed about the impending cycle-track installation on January 5th 2018 – just 3 days ago – and work is due to begin today.