Traffic island in Swansea shortened after causing problems for fuel tankers
A traffic island which was extended as part of a cycle path project in Swansea has now been shortened because fuel tankers kept mounting it.
Cllr Wendy Fitzgerald, in whose Penllergaer ward the work has been taking place, said she felt this ought to have been foreseen.
The 1.7-mile path linking Penllergaer to Gorseinon runs mainly alongside Gorseinon Road – the A4240 – and is close to completion.
Cllr Fitzgerald said tankers turning right via one of two exits from the Esso Garage by the Gorseinon Road-Swansea Road roundabout struggled after the small traffic island on Swansea Road was elongated. “They had to mount it,” she said.
Cllr Fitzgerald said the council had now reduced the island’s length – but she also had concerns about the narrowing of Gorseinon Road to accommodate the new shared-use path. She said the path was 4.8m wide while each road lane was down to 3m.
“We get very large vehicles – car transporters, tractors with trailers – and wing mirrors have been clipped,” she said. “The council’s view is that there will be room for everyone to manage, but we don’t think that is going to be the case.”
The £1.8 million scheme has also resulted in the loss of car parking space on the shared-use path side of Gorseinon Road.
Asked if there were cyclists in the area who looked forward to using the new shared-use path, Cllr Fitzgerald said: “There obviously are people who are keen cyclists – but the one thing that irks people is when they see them cycling on the road when there is a cycle path.”
The Active Travel project, as they are known, is one of many that the council has undertaken in recent years with Welsh Government funding.
Swansea now has around 75 miles of shared-use paths, with electric bikes reigniting a love of cycling among many older people.
The council said the Penllergaer scheme was an important one which had been subject to consultation and would better connect the area to the cycle network and encourage fewer short journeys by car.
A spokesman for the authority said: “We are in the process of making minor changes to a small section of the road layout on Swansea Road near to the petrol station. This is following discussions with the garage about fuel delivery issues.”
He added: “As part of our ongoing work to introduce a new shared-use walking and cycling route along Gorseinon Road and along other main roads in the city, it has been necessary to narrow existing road widths. This has been achieved along other routes in the city including The Kingsway in the city centre.
“The new road width along Gorseinon Road is no different to other roads that feature Active Travel infrastructure and is safe for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike. Works are continuing to complete the route as soon as possible.”
People have been commenting on the ongoing roadworks in Penllergaer, which have also been due to Welsh Water operations, on a Penllergaer Facebook page. Katharine Anne Carter wrote about the new layout: “It all looks bonkers. Why?? It worked fine before.”
By BBC LDRS
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