National Cycle Network (Route 5) - Llandudno North Shore Promenade
Click here for text of a formal complaint by CTC.
When the Conwy Estuary cycle route is completed in the near future, Route 5 of the National Cycle Network will be poised unconnected at two locations on the outskirts of Llandudno. At the North Shore it comes to a halt near the promenade paddling pool. And on the opposite side of the town it rests at the western end of Gloddaeth Avenue. From Telacre, Flintshire, to the paddling pool there are over twenty miles of continuous seaside pathway accessible for cycling. And from West Shore the route runs all the way to Holyhead and links with route 8 to Cardiff.
Llandudno's wide North Shore promenade
The aim of the NCN is to access the very heart of towns and cities and in this way to promote cycling as an important part of people's lives: not just for leisure, but for business and other social purposes. Many towns and cities around the UK have embraced this principle.
A public consultation came out in favour of the only route which met the necessary criteria. This linked the North Shore paddling Pool directly to the area adjacent to the Pier via the North Shore promenade. Thereafter this required only a simple link to West Shore via the wide and lightly trafficked Gloddaeth Avenue,
Drawing upon the successful integration of pedestrians and cyclists sharing space elsewhere, both CTC Cymru and Sustrans recommended a simple broken-line corridor along the promenade, without any disturbance to existing flower beds and seating.
Following visual presentations by CTC and Sustrans, Conwy CBC Environmental Scrutiny committee found in favour of their proposal, and dismissed objections by a group calling itself 'Save Our Prom', which saw cycle access as a threat to the annual promenade Vintage Car Rally and the Red Arrows aerobatic display. The committee clearly recognised that accessing these events by bicycle was a practical example of social inclusion. The matter was returned to Cabinet for confirmation
In the meantime the Mostyn Estates company, leasers of the promenade to the local authority, indicated it was opposed to the CTC/Sustrans option, but was prepared to enter discussion on a proposal to create an enclosed corridor along the promenade with several crossing points This was submitted to a safety review which confirmed the reservations of CTC and Sustrans. (Both argued that disturbance to the existing promenade infrastructure was neither necessary nor desirable) But rather than return to our proposal the safety report made the remarkable claim that cyclists and pedestrians couldn't coexist, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
This led to the Conwy Cabinet shelving the prom option, and voting to consider an option linking North and West Shores by avoiding the town centre altogether and using some of the most unpleasant roads and busiest in the borough. In other words 'sending' cyclists where they thought they should go, rather than facilitating their journeys to where their daily lives took them. This has resulted in the Labour group on council triggering a procedure which now returns the matter to the Environmental Scrutiny Committee on the 28th September. It is hoped common sense is beginning to dawn on this risible affair, which is increasingly projecting a negative image of the town way beyond its boundaries.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
CTC Cymru wishes to monitor the experiences of people as they cycle about Llandudno, not least of all in the North Shore area. And we would particularly like to hear from visitors who have been affected by the promenade ban. We aim to publish our findings in due course.