Cyclists won’t have to bother “keeping off the grass” in future – on this stretch of Lavernock Road because there won’t be any. The grass verge is to become a new cycle track

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 Vale of Glamorgan Council’s maps don’t exactly make it clear what cycle tracks it proposes to build – and where.

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?”

Cyclists will soon have their very own track alongside Lavernock Road

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.

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  1. Regular traveller says:

    Now what on earth is the point of that? The existing cycle path between Cosmeston and sully doesn’t get used by the Lycra brigade and only rarely by others. Why should this new one get used?
    The organiser should take a drive up and down on Sunday mornings!

    • Philip Rapier says:

      The Vale Cabinet Cowbridge biased Dads Army of Toffs has gone too far this time. Even Hitler consulted over building the Autobahns.
      You have to understand that they want you to hate them as they speed down our roads burning off the steroids. (Sorry- asthma drugs)
      This is because gaining the contempt of the law abiding pedestrian is a relief from the boredom of cycling along at Sat Nav “app dictated” Dangerous Speed with the unfortunate sight of their Lycra clad butt pointing at the sky..
      If only we were part of Cardiff,where on the Barrage Walkway Docks End our Capital City has invested in greater safety for both Cyclists and Pedestrians.
      I doubt if the Vale Cowbridge biased Council and Sustrans SS will provide a barrier or any safety measure in Lavernock to protect the walkers from these Storm Troopers on bikes.

    • The Tax payer says:

      Must agree. Another TOTAL waste of money or am I missing something ??

  2. Andrew Sarchus says:

    Is Goldsworthy a cyclist? Might end up a car park.

  3. whatsoccurin says:

    Not the most “pedestrian friendly” area-agree with “regular traveller”, cyclists are few and far between, more chance of treading in horse manure as horse riders are more numerous.

  4. Steve says:

    See that blue sign in the top picture? This section already IS a cycleway, shared with pedestrians. I presume the new scheme will widen the path & provide segregated sections so increasing safety for both parties.

  5. Vic says:

    The Highway Code allows riding two abreast, but not on narrow or busy roads. I was driving behind a long queue of traffic coming from Sully along Lavernock Road (a busy road) last week. We were all waiting our chance to pull around the two cyclists riding side -by-side on the road alongside the cycle track. (a regular occurrence) They were chatting away happily while queues built up behind them. For some reason, a lot of cyclists prefer to use the road, even when a cycle track is provided. Maybe it’s not cool! Just look at the new cycle track on Port Road, it’s wide enough to drive a car on, yet cyclists still use the road. Don’t get me started on red lights. Cyclists should (must) obey the rules of the road before criticising car drivers.

    • Steve says:

      Part of the ‘some reason’ may be that the speed limit for a shared path is 18mph for cyclists. Most of the ‘Lycra brigade’ can easily exceed that and so do what they are supposed to – use the road. Besides, the Highway Code says that use of cycle paths are not compulsory and depend on your experience.
      Perhaps car drivers should understand the rules for cyclists before criticising them.

      • Vic says:

        I do understand the rules for cyclists – I cycle too! Whether I’m driving or cycling, it pains me to see cyclists flaunt the rules that car drivers couldn’t get away with.

    • BluesMan says:

      The cycle path on port road is pointless I agree, I do not use it as its poorly maintained and covered in rocks twigs and so on.

      They should’ve built another lane for cars and given cyclists half a metre of tarmac on the side of the road with a solid white line as they do in France/Spain.

    • V Mildew says:

      “don’t get me started on red lights. Cyclists should (must) obey the rules of the road before criticising car drivers”. I see more car drivers jumping red lights, usually just after they’ve changed to red, and the consequences of doing this is far worse than a cyclist jumping the lights, so lets also agree that motorists should (must) obeying the rules of the road too shall we?!

    • Dave says:

      There are roads built for the exclusive use of cars, so why don’t drivers only use them, and avoid all cyclists? … See how far it gets you.

    • Colin Davies says:

      cyclists ride on the road rather than cycle paths as there is generally less debris on the road that is likely to puncture the tyres that most road bikes have

  6. Miss Cyclist. says:

    I cycle along this stretch of road four times a day and see numerous cyclists on the road.
    Unfortunately I have to use the road as the path is covered in hawthorn spikes that have been left uncleared after each hedge cut by the local farmer. I am forced to choose to avoid regular punctures over my safety and ride on the road…
    Until the council reinstate regular path clearance, most cyclists I have talked to will not use this path or any future addition!!!
    How crazy is that?

    • snoggerdog says:

      miss cyclist is spot on about hawthorn spikes which never degrade,almost guaranteed a puncture riding on a cycle path near a hedge!

  7. Ford Prefect says:

    Excellent idea. I only hope the path is of a Dutch-enough quality so that people can use it and not a disjointed token gesture.

    • Say Goodbye to Green says:

      How is it an ‘excellent idea’?
      It’s taking away grass, a home and feeding site for small creatures, it is creating more tarmac, more run-off in the rain, there is already a cycle path and the ‘serious’ cyclists it seems aimed at will continue to use the road.
      So it is money wasted as well as a destruction of the natural environment.
      It is also evidence of a tax-funded council carrying out any consultation and doing exactly as they please.

  8. From our Political Correspondent in Penarth says:

    This project will have been passed by the previous Labour-run Vale Council, as the moneys were allocated for spend in 2017/18. The present administration will have had little to do with the decision in all probability.

    • jonathancoleuk says:

      You need to get your facts correct, rather than just make assumptions. The bid was for a crossing, the Welsh Assembly told the Vale in December that they had cash to get rid of by March 2018, but only if the plan included a cycle path. Of course the Vale officials will spin it and suggest the path is all part of their strategic plan. Look at councillor Mahoney’s post regarding funding!

      • Chris David says:

        Facts right!- is there no Welsh Assembly? I thought we had a WG now= Welsh Government? Oh yes really just a council but I just liked the facts right bit. Anyway it’s a real pity to lose the grass verges.

  9. Another complete waste of Taxpayers Money !!! Penarth Station to The Paddocks cost £500,000.00, We need a Camera & Speed Gun on this Path ….No regard for pedestrians at all, the Lycra Brigade think they have right of way, its Our Path get out of the way speeding at least 20 mph, its Outrageous !!!!
    And I believe Cyclists should be licensed i.e. pay road tax, take a road test on a road & abide by the Highway code,Cycle in Single file NOT 2 abreast, Have a number plate on their bikes attached to the saddle so “Red Lighters” can be prosecuted, and insurance they use the Road “Pay for the Privilege” Car drivers do so why not Cyclists.

    • Scuba Joe says:

      I can understand peoples frustration with this new cycle path, and do wonder what good it will do but the way yourself and a few others on this post talk about cyclists is quite petty and rude. I agree with you that cyclists should be on the road not a pavement if they are travelling quickly however riding two abreast on the road is in the highway code for a reason. It is safer for a car to overtake a bunch of cyclists who are 2 by 2, rather than a long strung out line of single file cyclists. Put it into google and have a look why this is. If there is a long line of traffic building up then they should single out and allow cars to pass when it is safe to do so. Most cyclists have insurance believe it or not, if they are a member of British Cycling or if they compete in races then this is something that is required. So far as paying tax to use the road- bikes do not emit any pollution nor cause any damage to road surfaces. Personally, I pay tax for my car and I also pay plenty of tax whether it be council or on my income.
      On the continent cyclists are respected and in general, vehicles give them a wide pass.
      At the end of the day the road is for everyone to share- pedestrians (when there are no pavements), horse riders, cyclists, cars, vans etc. Your narrow mindedness and your clear vindictive tone e.g. “Lycra Brigade” and “them vs us” attitude doesn’t help. Cyclists are people who go home to their loved ones and families, we rely on vehicles giving us space and keeping us safe. We have no protection from the elements. A small number of ignorant cyclists may give the conscientious majority a bad name, and vice versa for drivers. Yes you may get held up for a few minutes behind a bike on a busy road, but if that is the worst of your worries then things couldn’t be that bad.

  10. OB says:

    I’m a cyclist, a motorist and a walker and whatever the merits or otherwise of this scheme, the lack of consultation is absolutely shocking — another example of the Vale planners and councillors acting as our masters, not our paid servants.

  11. Penarth realist1 says:

    I hope local residents will have to cut their hedges back to the boundaries as you have to walk on the grass to get past.
    A waste of money and more tarmac.

  12. Say Goodbye to Green says:

    The Vale wants shot of any green – anything living needs maintenance which costs.
    The run-off after rain is already bad in this area.
    At least the grass verge took a bit of it.
    Expect worse flooding.
    Them and their tarmac makes me sick.

  13. Kevin Mahoney says:

    I have raised this matter with the Vale this morning. Having fought continuously for over 5 years for funding for the much needed pedestrian crossing which in itself has been a titanic battle to initially get the site on the Vale’s reserve list then being told that such a crossing would only get moved higher up the list if there was a serious accident at the spot. I was delighted when further continued pressure by myself and my fellow local County councillor plus local community councillor Mike Garland gained the go ahead for the crossing.

    This morning I have been told that all such funding is reliant on Welsh Assembly money and that the Assembly insists on these alterations for cycling paths as a condition of releasing funds.

    This will also mean that all such road safety improvements throughout the Vale ( and presumably Wales) will include similar alterations

    So I would direct any ire at the Welsh Assembly, Whilst I am in favour of making cycling conditions safer, I reiterate that this should be accompanied by compusory Highway proficincy tests, insurance, identifiable registration numbers, annual checks on bike maintenance and and working light provision and the prosecution of highways offences by the police of cyclists given their vulnerability in order to help ensure their safety.

    I was unaware myself of the scale of the increased cyclepath and would agree with the lack of local consultaton and notification, however it would seem that no wider cycle track, no crossing, is the edict handed down by the Welsh Assembly.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      The Vale and Jobsworthy have rolled over here as part of the Cog Housing and Cosmeston Development Conspiracy to build 5000 Houses.on the edge of Penarth.
      Suit them to tweak the infrastucture to bragging this area.will it not?

      Please note as other areas will also have the equally urgent need of Road Safety Improvement———
      Anyone may request a Zebra Crossing from the Vale by visiting the Gov UK Website you don’t need to be a Local Councillor to do it. Just follow these simple steps.
      Visit Gov UK Website Page
      To request a pedestrian crossing like a puffin crossing, toucan crossing or zebra crossing from the local council.
      Enter a postcode
      For example CF64 etc-
      ( Available in England and Wales only)

      • From our Political Correspondent in Penarth says:

        Anyone can ask the UK Government (or indeed the Welsh Government) for anything they like, BUT it does not mean that they are going to get it ! Money is the ultimate test.

  14. Martin Spriggs says:

    Why bother when the cyclist’s won’t use the cycle paths more money wasted.

  15. ice says:


  16. Local says:

    To get the funding the path has to be 3.5m wide. That will eat up all the grass verge. It will be such a shame to tarmac over all that grass. I thought it was roundly agreed that putting tarmac where vegetation is should be avoided if at all possible. I am a cyclist and cycling should be encouraged as much as possible but you don’t need a massive cycling superhighway between the Schooner and Cosmeston! Where are these cyclists going to be going? The road cyclists will stay on the road. The only other cyclists are normally day trippers going to the Lakes. Nearly 10 a day sometimes on the weekend… KEEP IT GREEN

  17. Andrew Worsley says:

    A total waste of time and money by someone with not enough to do , don’t make up projects that people didn’t ask for , fix the things that people need . I realise that may seem A NOVEL IDEA but hey give it a try eh!

  18. Ivor Bagman says:

    I will never forget taking
    half a hundredweight of
    steel tubing to Sully 15 years ago.
    Lovely 5 punctures at aforementioned spot.
    Had to wheel bike plus steel
    to Sully, and walk all the way home.

  19. Peter Church says:

    The paved over Penarth paradise and built 100kms on pointless tarmac cycle-way (That Mamal Sweaty Strava oiks won’t even use!)

  20. Birkett says:

    As a side issue, has anyone seen the grass verges along Wordsworth Ave, esp by the primary school.
    Wow! The garden by the sea. The ploughed field by the sea, more like.

  21. Michael Garland says:

    After the money spent on the Railway Walk Footpath / Cycle Track why do we need another one that more or less follows the same route.
    It would be more beneficial to the Community if the Vale Council used the money to provide some much needed play facilities in the area that were promised 36 years ago when the estate was built.
    Perhaps the Vale Council belive that the patches of uncut grass on the estate are appropriate for our deprived children

  22. wdytya says:

    I am going out tonight to find some BATS in the grass verges!!

  23. mikeyorke says:

    Simple solution. Make existing path for cyclists and pedestrians just that little bit wider. Less destruction of green space.

  24. Frank Evans says:

    What about all the street furniture including the new 30mph electronic signs will they have to be moved or do they seriously think cyclists will ride on this path dodging them.
    It won’t be used like most cycle tracks due to debris and puncture risk. Car tyres clear roads and dump the stuff on cycle tracks

  25. wdytyablog says:

    The spokesperson for the Council has now informed residents that they have to place all recyclable bags/boxes, green waste bags and black bags on the pedestrian path/cycleway rather than the grass verges that are used at present. They fail to acknowledge that this will be a hazard to anyone passing by given the waste is left out the night before and there are no street lights. Not only that but the empty bags and boxes are left strewn all over the area after the refuse collectors have been where the proposed safe pathway for passers by whether they are walking or cycling. Residents have been informed that they are responsible for all recycling and waste containers until they are collected. So if someone falls over the bags/boxes and injures themselves residents are liable for legal actions taken and financial compensation. The Council spokesperson said this is no different to all areas of Penarth who put out their waste on the pavement but fails to acknowledge that most pavements are not cycle tracks and most are well lit.

    This has not been thought through and the Council readily admits that this is a rush job as the funding has to be spent by the end of the financial year March 2018. Hence the lack of proper consultation with residents. The Council say that if we want the Toucan crossing then we must have the destruction of the grass verges, this has never been mentioned during the many years our local Councillors have been trying to get the Council to provide a safe crossing into and from Cosmeston Country Park. Mind you there are no plans to widen the existing cycleway all the way to Sully and you still have to cross Lavernock Road as just passed Fort Road the signs direct you to the other side of the road where there is no Toucon safe passageway.

    • Kevin Mahoney says:

      There are actually plans to widen the existing cycleway all the way to Sully and this is just the first part being widened as a condition of advancing the funds to complete the crossing. I’m told that, as and when sufficient funds become available the rest all the way to Sully will be widened as part of the Vale’s overall cycleway strategy.

      • Sadly. If the design is poor, cyclists simply will not use it.

        By this I mean not free flowing, an example of this is “ Ffordd y mileniwm” where you have to cycle up into each junction and then cross a road, the stop start nature of this is very off putting and will lead people to just stick to the road.

        I am all for spending money on well thought out segregated cycle ways, but the we simply can’t get it right.

        as others have suggested. It would be better to widen the road , have the drains built into the verge and improve the surface so that there is plenty of room for everyone, hopefullly this would still leave some verge.

        A Bad surface usual means cyclists will cycle nearer the middle of the road and swerve around potholes making it harder for cars to overtake.

        I would then keep the shared path as it is for nervous cyclists or families, the videos I have seen of cars almost knocking young children off bikes on a family ride really is scary.

        Furthermore, yes, there is a shared path that is usually littered with sticks, brambles and cars, yes a driver flaunting the rules who feel that’s it’s ok to park there blocking not only walkers and cyclists. But wheel chair users and prams.

        This is why I use the road instead.

  26. wdytyablog says:

    Meant to say in my previous post that at the bottom of the Councils email it asks me not to print it out………it then says ……..CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENT. is digging up grass verges and replacing with tarmac considering the environment, double standards in play I think

  27. Fishhenge says:

    When are we going to get a horse lane? I cycle along that route several times each day, and whilst you can scream at pedestrians to get them to move, horses don’t understand english.

  28. wdytyablog says:

    interesting information from Keven Mahoney…………so the Council plan is all the grass verges from the Harvester to Sully will be dug up, total devastation of natural soak aways, watch out cyclists you may need your wellies. When you get to Sully cyclist travelling further will be back on the main road and they say this will be a safe route, makes you laugh!!

  29. AK says:

    Shared paths like the railway path are great. They encourage people to get on their bikes, or take walks and they do so safely and away from traffic. By creating safe cycling routes to schools, they reduce the number of cars doing the school run twice daily.

    Perhaps some clear signage stating clearly that it is a shared path and that pedestrians, not cyclists, have the right of way (this works in Hyde Park, although they do have the added benefit of the Royal Parks’ Police!)

    The hedgerows will still be there.

    Cyclists who choose to put their lives at risk by cycling on the highway are permitted by law to do so. Probably quicker than travelling by car these days, with the awful traffic around here.

    What’s not to like?

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