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Motorists face 26 weeks of travel disruption on Mumbles Road

By Amy_Downward  |  Posted: February 05, 2014

Motorist face 26 weeks of travel disruption on Mumbles Road

Comments (16)

MOTORISTS travelling into Swansea along Mumbles Road faced gridlock yesterday.

At the height of the morning rush hour queues backed up all the way up Mayals Road to Clyne Common and along the front as far as Norton.

The cause of the disruption was a lane closure on the east bound section of Mumbles Road near Victoria Park.

Wales and West Utilities has started a 26 programme of gas pipe replacement work.

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It is spending over £1m renewing the gas pipe network in Sandfields and Brynmill installing over £3k of new plastic gas pipes.

Mumbles councillor Tony Colburn was among those caught in the tailbacks.

He said: “I was held up in the traffic on the way to a meeting.

“It took me twice as long as normal to get to my meeting,

“The work which is being carried out is going to cause enormous disruption and considerable delays for commuters.

“Hopefully with everyone co-operating the disruption will be cut down to a minimum.

“However these works are essential and must be carried out.

“I hope they will be finished as quickly as possible and completed urgently.”

Dad of two David Williams who was travelling in from Mumbles said: “I thought the delays it might be from flooding, because the ground by the skate tube in Blackpill, was swamped, and that is right next to the Mumbles Road. I didn’t realise that it was roadworks until I got close to St Helen’s.

“The traffic was crawling from Ashleigh Road all the way into town, because it was down to one lane by the rugby ground.

“It added at least 20 minutes to the journey and maybe longer, and made me late for work.”

The 26-week programme of work, which was planned to avoid Christmas, has been discussed and agreed with the council.

Another commuter said: “I think people are soon going to lose patience if there are these delays every morning.

“It’s no exaggeration to say there was chaos. I appreciate there is no alternative route — people will be trying to cut through Sketty but it just lead to problems there.”

Tracey Duffy, of Dragon Crafts on Mumbles Road, said she was worried the roadworks would put people off visiting the area.

She said: “We have an awful lot of roadworks around Swansea now.

“People were delayed for about an hour this morning because of the roadworks and a broken down car.

“However I think it was just confined to the rush hour traffic as all afternoon the traffic has been flowing freely and nobody has had problems going into Mumbles. We don’t want people to be put off visiting.”

Nigel Tamplin, Wales and West Utilities operations manager said: “We started work on Monday on our £1m investment scheme to replace 3km of gas main to upgrade the gas network in the Sandfields and St Helens areas of Swansea.

“This will bring improved services for gas users and support the future regeneration and growth of the city.

“We worked closely with the local authority to ensure that work on this essential scheme avoided the busy Christmas period, but unfortunately there’s never a good time to do work such as this - especially on locations as busy as Oystermouth and Mumbles Roads.

“We’ve designed this scheme to minimise traffic disruption as much as we can. This is essential work and we are asking people to please bear with us.”

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  • charioteer17  |  February 10 2014, 6:58PM

    Barrystir sure loves his statistics. I have lived , worked and cycled on the continent (Germany and Holland). The cyclists there bear no relation to many of the cyclists in Swansea. They have been educated from an early age how to behave and the authorities ensure they do. My wife and I cycled across a pedestrian crossing in Germany and were fined 10DM each by a policeman...we didn't know the rules but never did it again. Of course the paragons of virtue "the ordinary cyclist(?)" would never wear lyrca!!!!! The ones I see often in Swansea must be extraordinary cyclists! Selfish lobbying? The cycle lobby in Swansea wanted a cycle path on a foot bridge across Oystermouth road...basically driving pedestrians off it. The practicalities and cost of fully segregated facilities in towns throughout the UK makes it unlikely to happen so in the meantime the painted white line segregation should be removed in areas of heavy pedestrian usage and cyclists made to use the road until proper facilities can be provided or until they learn to behave properly and respect other highway users.

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  • BarryStir  |  February 10 2014, 3:26PM

    Swansea does not have properly segregated cycle lanes - at best it has painted lines which mark pedestrian and cycle areas. These lines are not effective and both pedestrians and cyclists regularly stray across them which can lead to conflict and frustration on both sides. Segregated facilities are for the exclusive use of bicycles and would quickly solve the problems that charioteer raises and would encourage ordinary cyclists (who would never think of wearing lycra!) to leave their cars behind more often. We know this works because you can see it in Copenhagen, Amsterdam and other cities where cycling makes up 40% or more of the commuter trips and cars are used by only a small minority. This brings both direct and derived economic benefits to the city. For Copenhagen it is estimated that every kilometre cycled brings a net gain for society of 1.22 DKK (22.4p per mile), compared to a net loss of 0.69 DKK for every kilometer driven in a car (13 p per mile). Recent work in New Zealand has shown that using best practice physical separation on main roads and bicycle-friendly speed reduction on local streets, would yield benefits 10-25 times greater than costs [1]. Why on earth is it 'selfish lobbying' to advocate for savings in Swansea? [1] Macmillan, A., Connor, J., Witten, K., Kearns, R., Rees, D., & Woodward, A. (2014). The societal costs and benefits of commuter bicycling: Simulating the effects of specific policies using system dynamics modeling. Environmental Health Perspectives, In Press

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  • charioteer17  |  February 10 2014, 2:11PM

    Barrystir is unaware of the facts or is purposely ignoring them. Proper segregation is available and is in force but completely ignored by many cyclists. A white line is usually the only means of segregating cyclists and pedestrians but watch the cyclists weave in and out of the cycle path and intimidating other highway users. You can't be serious in saying that the car is only essential for very few people...what world do you live in? Doctors , nurses, disabled people, elderly people, those who have to carry loads essential for their work, those travelling long distances to name but a few. The smugness of some cyclists who think if cycling suits them it must therefore suit everyone is unbelievable. The quality of life of many people is reduced by the selfish intimidating behaviour of many cyclists who believe they are superior to other road users. Many cyclists are out of control and it is time authorities took some action to enforce existing laws against their anti-social behaviour rather than capitulate to their very active and selfish lobbying.

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  • BarryStir  |  February 10 2014, 1:42PM

    Charioteer still misses the point - proper segregated provision for cyclists avoids all the issues he raises as concerns in relation to potential conflicts with cyclists would help to address the massive problems of congestion and pollution in Swansea whilst reducing deaths of cyclists and pedestrians caused by cars. There are, in any case, very few people for whom the car is really essential - there are many more who don't have access to cars but whose health and quality of life is reduced by the selfish over-use of cars in Swansea and other cities.

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  • charioteer17  |  February 06 2014, 6:02PM

    You can't ignore the real danger from speeding cyclists who have caused injuries to pedestrians and more to the point they intimidate them. You have a real downer on motor vehicles and their "over-weight and under-exercised drivers", a really credible comment. For many the car is the only viable means of transport and as a pedestrian the lycra clad lunatics speeding amongst pedestrians on their bikes is more of a worry along with the "highway code does not apply to me" cyclists. If fitness is an object then let the cyclists who ride through pedestrian only zones get of their bikes walk and push them, I am sure that would have just as much fitness benefit and be more socially acceptable. The conditions of our roads has often raised whinges from cyclists who are also road users.

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  • BarryStir  |  February 06 2014, 12:41PM

    Nobody is defending rude or unacceptable behaviour by cyclists but the fact remains that the real danger comes from drivers of cars who every year not only kill and maim large numbers of cyclists and pedestrians but fill our cities with noxious fumes which shorten the lives of those of us who live there. Let's focus on the real problem of reducing traffic and making what is left safer by concentrating on providing solutions which help to promote the only truly sustainable options of walking and cycling by providing facilities which reduce conflicts between them whilst keeping cyclists and pedestrians safe from the dangers of traffic so that, for example, our children can safely cycle or walk to school. As a side benefit this would make Swansea a much more attractive place to live and reduce the enormous burden on the National Health Service caused by those over-weight and under-exercised drivers clogging up the city as they sit in traffic jams spewing toxic fumes from their steel boxes and then bitterly complain when some essential service work requires 'their' precious road be dug up!

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  • charioteer17  |  February 06 2014, 10:46AM

    No Not "Dangerous bicycles? Really?"...Read my post ..I was commenting on irresponsible cyclists. Going off on tangent and quoting statistics will not change the fact that there are many of these about. Saying so is not a massive distortion. I have been struck twice by cyclists who stopped for a moment then happily cycled off saving the planet and getting fit. How do you report such idiots...they have no means of identification like number plates. Car drivers have to take a test that includes the Highway Code, their vehicles over a certain age are tested annually..all at the drivers expense. They are under the scrutiny of the law which is applied firmly. A cyclist buys a bike and off they go some travelling as fast as cars no checks and little control by the law. Pedestrians are put at risk, some not using certain routes because of bad cycling behaviour. Signs have had to be painted on pavements in Swansea to tell cyclists not to use pavements. I think considerate cycling is a good thing but something has to be done to control the sanctimonious cyclists who demonise car users while they intimidate other highway users.

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  • Gowercitizen  |  February 06 2014, 8:43AM

    Swansea seems to be almost permanently blighted by repeated long running and massive roadworks in every direction. I have not experienced this in any other city or large town in the country. A suitable warning sign should be placed on each approach to Swansea along the lines of "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here".

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  • BarryStir  |  February 05 2014, 4:56PM

    Dangerous bicycles? Really? The latest Welsh data show a total of 203 pedestrians were killed or seriously injured in 2012 a quarter of which were children. In 24 cases those drivers killing or seriously injuring pedestrians didn't even stop. Collisions with cyclists, by contrast, were responsible for no pedestrian deaths and collisions causing any injury to pedestrians were more than 200 times more likely to be with vehicles than with bicycles. At least if the cars are stuck in a traffic jam they are a bit safer and less likely to kill so many children (apart from perhaps by their emissions...). Apart from massively distorting the risks associated with bikes it is not clear what charioteer is suggesting - does he think those who choose to cycle should get back in their cars and add to the traffic jams?

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  • charioteer17  |  February 05 2014, 3:47PM

    Yes and the sanctimonious but irresponsible cyclists who discourage many who would walk from doing so because of the increased danger from cyclists on the "best cycle track" (actually a so called shared path) in Wales. We must change the attitude of selfish cyclists who think they are the answer to the traffic woes in Swansea and therefore can intimidate other off the main road path users with impunity.

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