SOME residents of a retirement complex in Swansea are calling for more safety signs on a contentious new cycle path outside.
The shared-use path for cyclists and walkers goes directly past Mumbles Bay Court, at the bottom of Mayals Road.
Residents and relatives who spoke to the Local Democracy Reporter Service said they had to inch forward when they exited the complex in their car to ensure cyclists coming down the slope from the right saw them in time.
They said it’s because there is a slight bend in the shared-use path as it approaches the entrance. Cyclists were on the road itself before the layout was changed, and some still prefer to use it.
It is understood that a female cyclist using the shared-use path was in collision with a car as it exited Mumbles Bay Court on July 29.
The exact circumstances are not known, but the cyclist’s injuries were not said to be serious. Those involved exchanged details and didn’t apparently report the incident to police.
Swansea Council, which designed the active travel route along Mayals Road, has now painted a “Slow” sign on the shared-use path around 10 metres from Mumbles Bay Court, along with dotted white markings on the entrance.
There are also two temporary barriers on the shared-use path which prevent cyclists from riding too close to the complex’s boundary wall.
Andy Graham, who lives at Mumbles Bay Court, said: “You had to be careful before, but without doubt you have to be more careful now.
“My car has a long bonnet, and I literally creep out at 2mph.”
He said his bonnet needed to be two-thirds across the shared-use path before he had full visibility of it.
Mr Graham felt the new “Slow” sign was too close to the complex’s entrance, particularly because of the shared-use path’s downhill gradient. He suggested a new sign indicating a partially concealed entrance.
Another resident said more signs, or mirrors to help exiting residents, would be a good idea, although he also said cyclists needed to ride responsibly.
A relative who was picking up a resident said he felt visibility was “really poor”.
The new “active travel” route up Mayals Road starts with a 300m section of shared-use path before splitting into two cycle-only lanes on either side of the carriageway. Pedestrians also have a footpath each side.
This layout will revert to a shared-use path further up Mayals Road on one side of the road.
The project is still under construction, and the council said cyclists should not be using the cycle-only lanes yet.
A Freedom of Information response from the council to Mumbles community councillor Louise Thomas, who has been campaigning on behalf of Mayals Road residents and a former cycle route designer who are unhappy with the layout, said temporary barriers were being moved on the cycle-only lanes when they shouldn’t have been. It said “more substantive” measures had been introduced.
The response also said a road safety audit had been carried out before the project got under way, and that another one would take place on completion.
Mrs Thomas said: “I just want the council to be accountable for the safety issues on Mayals Road and recognise the concerns of the local residents.”
The Health and Safety Executive was contacted following the July 29 incident, but a spokesman said it was “not a matter” for the agency.
The active travel route enables cyclists to avoid riding on Mayals Road, and the council hopes to extend the shared-use path at the top all the way to Bishopston, Gower, in the future.
A council spokesman said it was part of a growing network of routes designed to encourage more people to walk and cycle.
All of them, he said, were developed in line with active travel guidance.
He said: “Safety audits are completed during construction and also following completion of the schemes, to identify any additional measures to make these routes as safe as possible for all users.
“We have already added additional road markings, and more are planned in the near future. Officers also recently met with representatives from Guide Dogs Cymru and agreed further changes to assist blind and visually impaired people.
“We would urge all motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to be mindful of their surroundings when travelling on our network and observe warning signs which are in place to improve safety.”