SOME people living on a busy Swansea road are anxious about new cycling and walking path proposed outside their homes.
Swansea Council is designing a 1.7-mile shared-use path between Penllergaer and Gorseinon – one of several schemes in the pipeline to expand the city’s cycle network.
The Penllergaer to Gorseinon route is likely to be adjacent to the south side of the A4240 – the main road linking the two communities.
Council chiefs have said that more people will be encouraged to cycle if new shared-use paths are alongside main transport routes which link towns, rather than back streets which don’t.
But former police officer Ellie O’Connor, who lives on the A4240 Gorseinon Road, has safety fears about the proposed scheme outside her home.
“I think putting a cycle lane there is madness, with all the trucks coming down here,” she said.
“But we have not seen a detailed sketch.”
Miss O’Connor, who has a driveway, said getting onto Gorseinon Road was hard enough as it was, due to the proximity of a pedestrian crossing, without a shared-use path as well.
She said she was a cyclist herself and welcomed the fact that more people were getting on their bikes, but she didn’t think many people would use a Penllergaer to Gorseinon shared-use path.
She wondered if a sliver of the park opposite her house could be used instead.
“Certain sections of the road are suitable for it, others are not,” she said.
Clare Newcombe, of Gorseinon Road, said a shared-use path didn’t bother her.
“People have got to cycle somewhere,” she said.
But she also said restricted parking spaces near her house, which would almost certainly make way for a shared-use path, were used by people for a stroll around the park.
Another resident, Gail Hughes, said she didn’t think the shared-use path was a good idea for Gorseinon Road.
“You would have to be very vigilant when you came off your drive,” she said.
A man a few doors down, who asked not to be named, said he was quite happy with the proposal, partly because it would stop people parking their cars on the pavement outside.
Meanwhile, Doris Robinson opposed the idea because she said she would no longer be able to park outside her house.
“I object most strongly,” she said.
The council has secured £3.3 million from the Welsh Government to build, design, and promote new pedestrian and cycle routes in 2021-22. In recent years it has obtained more than its fair share of this “active travel” money.
A spokesman for the authority said it was in the process of looking at design proposals for a number of walking and cycling routes that linked communities and gave people a viable alternative to their car.
“This will be done with the help of local ward members and residents who we will aim to work with to ensure the proposed routes are the right ones for their community,” he said.
“Hopefully this will not only lead to residents adopting healthier lifestyles, it will also reduce the impact of carbon emissions and improve our environment.”
Swansea Bay campaign group Wheelrights said it welcomed the investment in the cycle network over the last four years, but said it was important that residents’ views were taken into account.
The group’s chairman, John Sayce, said cyclists wanted to feel safe.
“This will benefit everyone whatever their mode of transport,” he said.