I am the Council’s Sustainable Transport Champion. Sustainable transport is any form of transport other than the private car: public transport, cycling and walking.
Affordable and integrated transport is vital for increasing employment and economic activity, connecting people and communities and combatting social isolation. A functioning and effective public transport network increases footfall in the city centre and in district shopping centres.
Many problems in our city are the result of reliance on the car: traffic congestion, poor air quality, noise, accidents and, for those who do use a car, a shortage of parking. Many of the problems in residential areas: speeding, accidents and a shortage of parking, which itself can be case of tension between residents, are a result of car-dependency and the failure of the public transport network to keep up with changes to people’s shifts and working hours.
My role as sustainable transport champion is to promote alternatives to the car and in so doing to work closely with the relevant cabinet members, council officers, transport organisations, bus operators, organisations such as Sustrans or the Swansea-based cycling lobby group Wheelrights and, of course, the communities who need sustainable, integrated and affordable transport.
The redesign of the Kingsway is a historic opportunity to remake the centre of our city and reclaim it for the people who live, shop, socialise and work there. I will do everything I can to ensure that in the new redesigned city centre, pedestrians will come first, then cyclists, then public transport and only then, the private car.
Cycling is a popular sport and a good way to keep fit but I am determined that cycling in Swansea should primarily be a mode of transport, a safe and practical way of getting to work, to the shops or to socialise.
Since 2012 I have chaired the Cycle Action Programme, working with stakeholders to increase and enhance Swansea’s cycle network with the aim of making cycling a safe, legal and easy form of transport. The cycle network has to connect people to where they live and where they want to go. I am a member of a new Routes Committee, looking at potential new cycle routes and for gaps in the network that need to be filled.
We have improved signage on the network and given indicative times, as well as miles, to help cyclists negotiate the network. A ‘tube’ style map of the network has been produced, in association with Neath Port Talbot Council.
A map of the Swansea cycle network can be found here
The ‘tube’ style network map can be found here:
Recently, the city centre cycle network has been expanded and enhanced, connecting Oystermouth Road, via Singleton Street, Union Street, Park Street, Kingsway, Orchard Street and Mansell Street. This is a great step forward from the all-too recent past when cycling was discouraged in the City centre. It’s now possible to cycle safely between the two University campuses.
The cycle network can always be expanded and existing network can always be tweaked here and there where the infrastructure, such as the road surface, signs, and markings could be improved. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.
Swansea may look as if it has many disadvantages for the cyclist; like many British cities it has historically been designed primarily for the car. There may be nothing we can do about the hills but there is something we can do about the design of the city. As a member of this Labour administration, I am determined to make cycling in Swansea as easy as it can be.
The Council does not run the bus services; they are run by operators. The council only subsidises the services that the authorities cannot run at a profit.
However this administration is determined to improve the public transport network across the City and Count of Swansea. For the City Deal and city centre regeneration to work, for our city centre to be a place for people, not cars, we need public transport.
Therefore, we have concluded a Quality Bus Partnership with First, the dominant operator. This enables us to work together with the operator to improve the network. We are working with all the operators in bringing in new kit, such as real time information on bus movement, which can be sent to an app on your phone.
The authority has also stepped to provide a service where there hadn’t been one, on North Gower.
We want to bring all the operators together to bring in a joint through-ticketing ‘oystercard’ scheme, so that for different routes, served by different operators, there’s one ticket.