The pro-cycling “charity” Sustrans demands that  cyclists should be given the legal right to pedal along the pedestrian part of Penarth promenade – in both directions.

If the Mark II Penarth Headland Link is built – then cyclists “MUST” have the right  to ride along the pedestrian part of  Penarth Esplanade’s promenade  – according the pro-cycling advocate Sustrans.

Sustrans –  which is funded partly by taxpayers and partly by bicycle manufacturers  – had been commissioned [ i.e. paid] to provide a so-called “Transport and Economic Evaluation of the Penarth Headland Link” as part of the Vale Council’s assessment for the Mark II version of the Penarth Headland Link.

Sustrans appears to suggest that pedestrians on the promenade should share it with cyclists – pedalling in both directions

The Sustrans report on the Penarth Headland Link has been trashed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council .

In their report Sustrans says consideration MUST be given to a shared-use route (i.e. cycles and pedestrians together)  “utilising Penarth Promenade”. 

The implication is that cyclists should not be limited to just using the road along the Esplanade but should be able to cycle – in both directions  – along the pedestrian promenade as well.

Sustrans says:-  “in order to maximise the potential benefit of the Headland Link, particularly for cyclists consideration MUST [PDN italics] be  given to providing a continuing shared-use route from the Penarth end of the route utilising Penarth Promenade and the wider highway network. Currently cyclists wishing to access the area around Penarth Pier would be required to travel on carriageway (sic) descending either Beach Road or Bridgeman Road, both of which terminate at the promenade which has no shared use access currently”

It’s estimated that up to  341,963 cyclists could use the Penarth Headland Link to reach  Penarth Promenade (and vice versa) every year

The Sustrans report also attempts to shore up the shaky case for building the Mark II Headland Link  and makes some eyebrow-raising  claims for the supposed economic benefits of the scheme  (The cost of building the Mark II Headland Link is estimated at an unrealistically low figure of £10,000,000).

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has homed in on Sustrans’s data and  – in polite language – has trashed the extravagant claims made for the Penarth Headland Link.

Sustrans claims that no fewer than 341,963 cyclists a year would use the Penarth Headland Link (were it to be built) along with 621,726 pedestrians  – resulting in estimated health and economic benefits of up to £36,511,031 a year.

However the  Vale Council has poured cold water on Sustrans’s inflated claims. It says that the conclusions reached by the Sustrans report are not totally robust” and points out a number of factors in the report which “question the validity/usefulness of the Report’s conclusions”. Witheringly, the Vale Council also points out that Sustrans used a total sample-size of only 97 ( that’s ninety-seven) people.

The proposed new Mark II Penarth Headland Link

A new Mark II version of the Penarth Headland Link scheme is being promoted by an limited company called Penarth Headlink Link Ltd – based on the group which in 2015 launched a re-treaded version of the disastrous original scheme . [See http://tinyurl.com/opohqne ]

The new scheme is currently still on paper and being amended – but it envisages building a cycle/pedestrian causeway around Penarth Head linking the Esplanade to the Barrage.

The causeway would be built of rock armour –  on top of which there would be a pathway used by both cyclists and pedestrians. The height of the elevated 6-metre wide pathway along the top of the artificial causeway would be massive 9 metres above the “mean sea level at Newlyn” (the average level of the sea around the UK between high and low tides) – but it  would still risk walkers and cyclists getting drenched in onshore windy weather with big waves . It would be lower than the Cardiff Barrage.

October 2016 Penarth lifeboat crew and Penarth Coastguard bring an injured man, who’d fallen down Penarth Head Cliff, to the boat to be taken to hospital. The construction of the  Penarth Head Link would create a huge barrier and make this kind of waterborne rescue impossible in the future

The Penarth Headland Link  would have huge rocks – or rock armour – facing the sea which would also make it impossible for boats or small craft – or swimmers in the water to reach safety.  Penarth  lifeboat crews (as in the picture above) would no longer be able to reach a cliff fall casualty – as they now can.

The pathway would be positioned at least 20 metres from the face of the Penarth Head Cliff  – a distance which would “result in low risk of rock fall impacts on users.”

However, environmentalists say that an edifice of this size would destroy the existing stony beach – a well known fossil-hunting ground – and completely change the character of the foreshore.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is to carry out a public consultation on the entire project .


The background story of the original – defunct –  Mark 1 Penarth Headland Link proposal which collapsed in acrimony and cost millions in lost public funds is here :- http://tinyurl.com/p638hcz

An account of the 2015 public meeting at which the Mark II version of the Penarth Headland Link was launched is on   http://tinyurl.com/opohqne

The background on the proposed Tidal Lagoon (which is unconnected with the Penarth Headland Link but may impact upon it) is on:-  http://tinyurl.com/nwygqxk

The background on the disappearance of Penarth Esplanade’s original multi-storey car park is on:-  http://tinyurl.com/nqykvfz


About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address newsnet@sky.com. Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. Frank Evans says:

    Oh no not more aggressive cycling on pavements.

    • Taxpayer says:

      Look out the poor OAPs,they will run you over.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      Just returned from a visit to Rotterdam.
      No cyccling on footpaths unless you wish to be fined.
      Not a speeding over testoroned lycra lout on a bike to be seen.
      Just law abiding Netherlanders going quietly about their journey.
      What a contrast to the anarchic two wheeled thuggery and mayhem advocated by the Sustrans bullies.

      Thinking of visiting the Netherlands here are the rules

      Cycling on the footpath-FINE
      Staying off the footpath is obligatory. Especially in busy areas, like the centre of Dutch cities, you risk a fine when you cycle on the footpath or on any pavements designated for pedestrians. This may sound like common sense but many people cycle on the footpath in order to take shortcuts, thinking they won’t be caught.
      You are allowed to cycle along certain pedestrian streets during designated off-peak hours, so staying familiar with these timetables can save you a fine.

      Not stopping at a red traffic light-FINE

      Cycling in the dark without bicycle lights FINE

      Cycling under the influence of alcohol FINE
      If you are caught with more than 220 micrograms per litre of alcohol on your breath, or a blood alcohol count of 0,05% then you can be fined 100 euros. This is the same penalty for cyclists and motorists, as the risk of accident is not considered any less significant for cyclists under the influence. If the alcohol levels are accompanied by dangerous cycling posing a risk to others, then the fine is even higher.

      Not indicating right or left FINE

      Not having a bell FINE
      .EXPAT Dutch Website

  2. Mark G says:

    Somebody’s maths are a little off if the new headland link is set to be 10 metres (33 Feet) above low water level! That would put the road nearly 4 metres underwater on a 14 metre spring tide!

    • NewsNet says:

      Mark . You’re right. It should read MOD ( or mean sea level at Newlyn) not “low water” – . I think this was a transcription mistake which we are correcting in the PDN story. Thanks for pointing this out.
      The height of the path along to top of the causeway is currently planned to be 9 metres MOD which is 1 metre below the level of the Cardiff Barrage closure breakwater (10MOD).
      This does not mean people will emerge dry from walking along the Headland Link. It’s still possible they will be drenched in stormy weather with large on-shore waves. They will also face a “low risk” of “rock fall impacts”

  3. Christopher David says:

    So not a professor Tony Hazel has a new job eh!

  4. whatsoccurin says:

    Having brimmed with righteous indignation after my disputes with cyclists around the Marina/Esplanade, read that there is no legal obligation for them to use designated cycle tracks even when they are much safer than the road.

  5. graham vodden says:

    No way. Get off your bikes and walk the prom. The arrogance of these bikers has caused many incidents in our area .

  6. Max Wallis says:

    The height they propose is huge 9.0m AOD (above Ordnance Datum, not low tide!) compared with 10.0m for the Cdf Bay Barrage. Yet the predicted wave peak is 8.5m in 2020 (and the Barrage allows for wave focusing). We tolerate occasional storms coming over the Esplanade, why not likewise for the new Link?
    They also propose 20m offset from the cliff foot. Crazy safety-culture! Warning Notices of ‘unstable cliff’ rock-falls are common in Wales, design for them here too. The 20metre space would fill with litter, debris and rats. Instead of that maintenance problem, let’s have a real foot-of-cliff route and spend money on cliff netting and inspection.
    This far over-specification strongly increases the costs – as happened previously when the engineers and ‘zero-risk’ fanatics were let loose.

    • Timothy Hughes says:

      Yes what engineers need is an astro physiatrist to tell them how to do their job.

  7. rodtharrod says:

    My maths may not be up to mark but I think I’m right in saying that according to these projected usage figures for a Headland Link its thought that EVERY person in Penarth (pop 22,083) would use the link FOUR times a day, every day, to walk the full length and TWICE a day as cyclists (same people). What was that they said about statistics…?

  8. Dirk Jonas says:

    The Headland Link scheme should be put on the back burner until a new multi storey car park is built on the seafront. The parking problems of Penarth in general are also preventing the town from becoming a successful tourist and living centre again. Grandiose schemes like the Headland Link are best left until Penarth’s other needs are met

  9. Count of Cwrt-Y-Vil says:

    The seafront has an enormous hill at both ends meaning most (certainly ‘amateur’) cyclists out for an enjoyable ride will sail down the one side to go along the esplanade and then turn back when they see the gradient on the other…thus ensuring the prom will be jam packed with cyclists going back and forth.

  10. Michael Griffin says:

    Sustrans attempt at what was once known as COBA, (cost/benefit analysis), in transportation circles, would be risible if it were not downright misleading. Its presumption that, on average, nearly 1000 cyclists and 2000 pedestrians would use it every day of the year is preposterous. Penarth seashore can be uninviting in the winter months so to obtain those numbers would mean even greater numbers in the more balmy months of the year. Rather than gaining any health benefits it would seem that pedestrians would face greater risks from collisions with cyclists or falling into the sea to avoid them than if they stayed at home. Where would all these people come from and where would they be going? We were fed the same nonsense by local Councillors and even our MP at the time when the first scheme was mooted. If the present Council is planning a public consultation it just means more money, time and effort is to be expended on proving the obvious; that this scheme is as a daft and as uneconomic as the first.

  11. PB says:

    341,000 cyclists?!?
    Bring it on, all that money too.
    Of course if the numbers don’t materialise then I’m sure Sustrans will make up the shortfall. I love it when made up numbers are used to justify things. A survey of 5 people when extrapolated proves that 652,008 people agree with me.

  12. Jm says:

    Nice try SusTrans but until cyclists take a competency test, have clear licence plates om their vehicles and a transparent indicator that they are insured, they should be no more let loose amongst pedestrians than cars. Simply too selfish, simply too dangerous.
    Ands that’s before you allow for swarms of kids on bikes causing mayhem deliberately- as happened quite a lot this summer.

  13. Penarthur says:

    I suspect that if there was a cliff fall incident, an ambulance could drive along the walkway, obviating the need for a lifeboat…..

    • Vladimorovich says:

      NATO tanks too Boyo, to complement the gun emplacement on top of the cliff for when Vladimir steams up the Bristol Channel to attack the nuclear submarines in Cardiff Bay when Scotland departs the UK.

  14. Le Duc de Westbourne says:

    White elephant.

  15. Andrew Worsley says:

    As I understand it pavements are designed for the safety of pedestrians and apart from wheelchairs , prams and invalid vehicles should stay that way . What a stupid idea to allow cyclists to ride up and down the prom , on the supposedly safe area. I myself have twice nearly been seriously injured by reckless speeding cyclists on the pavement , example number one hurtled towards me as I was walking along and looking around as I walked not expecting a cyclist to come hurtling towards me but he did and slammed on his brakes only a split second from hitting me head on and so he collapsed in a heap in front of me. The second of these happened on the corner of Lloyds Bank , it was blind bend on the pavement and as I was just about to round the corner only a second gave the cyclist just time to avoid me travelling at speed. I do not agree with permitting cyclists free access to the only refuge civilians have, a silly and dangerous idea and they should know better. As for the Headland Walk , a silly ‘cloud Cuckoo land ‘ idea which would be a criminal WASTE OF MONEY.

    • PB says:

      Very true, a cyclist on a pavement is a danger to all pedestrians especially though who can’t jump out of their way. What will it take to convince people? Maybe a death from a speeding cyclist who chooses what rules to obey and which ones to ignore? There’s enough stories in the press already of cyclists hitting or even killing pedestrians to make anyone with any common sense think twice about this idea. Put it to the public to decide, the political elite are very keen on the people’s vote right now so let’s have one. Simple to set up and low cost too, let’s get the Penarth we want not the Penarth councillors want us to have.

  16. snoggerdog says:

    i live fairly near the pilot & we have obstacles on the pavements to make it awkward for cyclists & pedestrians to navigate their way along,yes all you drivers have guessed what they are .of course these cars belong to out of towners certainly not the careful & considerate old duffers who meander round the garden by the sea you had better start replacing the glass in your greenhouses,the winters coming

  17. Peter Church says:

    I wish some of the Gravy train Sustrans parasites would get a proper job rather than leeching off tax payers and inflicting their daft cycle ideas on us ordinary folk.
    As others have said Cycling and Pedestrians do not mix.

  18. mikeyorke says:

    I wonder how far £10 million would last if they used an electric people carrier with room for bikes on a rear rack or a small trailer going back and forth all day from the barrage to Penarth pier via the town centre? Would probably go a long way than spend the money on something that’ll be destroyed by the gun emplacement sitting, sorry, sliding off the top of the cliff above.

  19. CelticMan says:

    I and other motorists had to swerve yesterday to avoid a Lycra clad middle aged idiot cycling the wrong way down the hill from the cliff top. Enough said!

  20. Penarthbourne says:

    I too ain’t a fan of people cycling on footpaths
    Very intimidating for the old and those not too steady on their pins

  21. Max Wallis says:

    It is Arup not Sustrans who are responsible for the engineering spec of 9.0m AOD and 20m offset from the cliff-foot. http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee Reports/Cabinet/2018/18-10-15/Assessment-of-Transport-Projects-Appendix-B.pdf
    Sustrans are to blame for the unprofessional assessment of cycle-use on which they build a cost-benefit figure.
    Their questionaire survey over 4 days found only 8 cyclists, 174 refused to stop, some citing the poor weather!
    They used some “PCT tool” that allows vehicles as well as cyclists/peds over the Barrage and gets cyclists as fraction of total
    They used the PCT tool to assess movements diverted to the Headland route but with Pont y Werin bridge and links deleted. They noted this but seem not to know how to correct it.
    11. The Sustrans report is at http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Cabinet/2018/18-10-15/Assessment-of-Transport-Projects-Appendix-C.pdf
    The VoG officers rightly “question the validity/usefulness of the Report’s conclusions”

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