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Cycling and walking in the city

on Sunday, 23rd August, 2015

Canton Meeting 19 August 2015 – Walking and Cycling in the rain
Eleven of us braved the heavy rain (again) to our Canton FAN Group meeting on Wednesday evening. We had asked David Lopez to choose our theme for the meeting as, sadly, it was his last time that he could attend FAN Group in Cardiff as he returned to Spain on Thursday to prepare for an exciting new challenge at the University of Seville in September. We have all enjoyed meeting David and appreciated his loyalty to the group. Hopefully, we may see him again in Cardiff sometime in 2016.

David chose Walking and Cycling in Cities as our topic. Interestingly, we discovered that by an international yardstick Seville is the most bicycle friendly city in Spain after the local authority put a lot of effort and resources into encouraging cycling a few years ago.

Both Suzuki (from Japan) and Albanery (from Colombia) had by chance tried cycling in Cardiff for the first time in the last few days. They enjoyed the experience but highlighted the challenges of cycling in a city which has made some efforts to make cycling more attractive, but still has a long way to go. David cycles a lot in Cardiff and has done so for many years and generally feels fairly safe on the roads.

Of course, many people love the mobility and sense of freedom of getting around by car. However, congestion, pollution and the impact on the health of the nation of a lack of exercise, makes it vital that ever busier cities offer more sustainable alternatives such as good quality public transport and walking and cycling opportunities.

Statistics shows that cycling can be quite dangerous and thus the police and governmental authorities seem to have conceded that cyclists should be able to cycle on pavements and to share other facilities with pedestrians. Michael and Ian were both very concerned by this as it is seriously degrading the walking experience, especially for the elderly. It is a challenge but ideally investment should be made for creating separate routes for motorised transport, cycles and walkers. Almost all of us are walkers at times and for many of us walking can give great pleasure and solace.

It was a great pleasure to welcome new friends from Egypt and Kuwait at the meeting and we hope to see them often in the future.

The photo shows all of us at the meeting. Photo taken by Awen’s little son who clearly has the knack of getting all his subjects to look happy! Thank you Yossarian.

Cycling and walking in the city

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