These cyclists are using the promenade to ride South. The new proposals assume they would stay on the carriageway. North-going cyclists, coming in the opposite direction, would be provided with a dedicated contraflow lane on the other side of the road .
Cyclists would be able to ride from South to North along Penarth Esplanade – against the prevailing direction of one-way traffic – under a scheme proposed by the town’s so-called “Interim Momentum Group” (IMG).
The IMG is a group of un-elected volunteers which is working with Penarth Town Council on developing ideas for the development of Penarth Esplanade in advance of a feasibility study to be carried out by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
An impression of what Cliff Hill – venue of the annual Downhill Derby – might look like under the new proposals. [Measurements are not to scale]
The proposed “cycle contraflow” would begin at the top of Cliff Hill. Two dedicated cycle lanes – one heading North (downhill) towards the Esplanade and the other heading South (uphill) would be installed on the seaward side of the existing road (where cars currently park parallel to the kerb).
The proposed layout for Cliff Hill
The car parking ‘lane’ would be moved out into the Cliff Hill roadway and away from the pavement. A half-a-metre wide “buffer zone” would be installed between the cars and the twin bike-lanes to prevent what cyclists call “dooring” [ i.e. having a car door being opened directly in their path] .
For motor traffic travelling up Cliff Hill, the two cycle lanes, the buffer zone and the inevitable line of parked cars would encroach further out into the existing road – reducing the width of the main carriageway to “3 metres or less”. It is not proposed to reduce the width of the pedestrian pavement on Cliff Hill.
The plan for the section of the Esplanade from the Lifeboat Station Northwards towards the Pier Pavilion
At the Lifeboat Station bikes in the downhill contraflow cycle-lane of Cliff Hill would move across to a new dedicated contraflow lane on the left-hand side of the Esplanade carriageway. This would be next to the pavement.
The echelon parking spaces along the Esplanade would be moved further out into the road so that the Northbound bike lane could go behind them
The Echelon-style car-parking slots along the Esplanade would be moved further out into the roadway – to provide space for the cycling contraflow lane.
The Northbound cycle lane would be directly infront of the Lifeboat Station, inside the zig zag area of the Yacht Club, and slice through the outdoor dining area of the Romeo’s by the Sea restaurant – which would have to be moved further out into the road.
The proposed contraflow cycle lane would cut through the outdoor eating area outside the Romeo’s By the Sea restaurant. Pedestrians crossing the road from the landward side of the Esplanade to the seaward side would cross the bike contraflow lane first – (with traffic coming from their right) and the main carriageway next (with traffic coming from their left).
It’s proposed that additional outdoor dining areas could be provided on the promenade opposite the Fig Tree Restaurant
On the promenade opposite the Fig Tree Restaurant it’s proposed that additional outdoor dining areas could be installed across the road next to the main carriageway.
It’s also proposed to increase the number of dedicated “blue badge” spaces on the Esplanade and also dispense with dead areas outside the Fig Tree and Windsor Court which are currently impounded by railway sleepers and kerbstones .
The Northgoing bike-contraflow would merge with a new dedicated South-bound bike-lane at the zebra crossing outside the Pier Pavilion and both lanes would then run next to the pavement outside the pavilion.
The existing bus stop outside the Pier Pavilion would be moved North – further towards Beach Road and passengers would have to cross two bike lanes to board the buses
The existing bus stop on the seaward side would be moved outwards – requiring passengers boarding buses to cross both the Southbound and the Northbound bike lanes before climbing aboard – adding yet another hazard to the scheme .
The Pier Pavilion bus stop would be moved North and positioned further out in the road so that the bike lanes could go between it and the promenade pavement
The ideas have yet to be considered by either Penarth Town Council or the Vale of Glamorgan Council .