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Sustainable Transport: Keeping Swansea Connnected | Uplands Labour

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

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

http://travelplans.pindarcreative.co.uk/swansea/

 The ‘tube’ style network map can be found here:

http://www.cycleswanseabay.org.uk

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.

Buses

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.