The smart bridge

Smart bridge (1 of 1)

It cost a few bob, but my word – I love this bridge. Linking the Capital Quarter office development and the retail centre of Cardiff (Tyndall Street to Bute Terrace in old money) the Smart bridge lops off an almighty detour around, then over, the railway track. It also allows you to very effectively ride (or wheel) your bike around the wiggly bit and pop out on the other side without getting off (unless you’re wheeling of course). This has absolutely come into its own now that the very busy – and arterial – Windsor Road Bridge is being disassembled so that Network Rail can replace it/Have a massive game of Jenga. Apparently this will take over a year to complete.

One of the nice things about using this bridge – apart from the slightly dizzying descent – is that popping out on the south side of the bridge drops you straight onto a network of cycle lanes (cycle lanes almost connect with the Northern side). With a bit of luck, this design will form the template for future cycling sympathetic bridges. I just hope they can get that whopping price tag down.

Below: Artist impression of the bridge. Top image: The reality – a fellow commuter descends the spiral.

JR Smart bridge

5 replies »

  1. Nice to some cycle friendly infrastructure is being installed these days – I’m seeing more and mor bollards and “cyclists dismount” signs appearing all over the place – so seeing something that is all access is encouraging…

    • I agree. A long way to go before we reach the standard of the Netherlands, but constant steady progress is a very fine thing. I’d love to see more of these bridges – perhaps as a template for getting across major arterial roads (though the price will clearly need to descend first).

  2. Haha. I’ve just used this bridge and it has ‘cyclist dismount’ signs on it. What a waste. An expensive bridge, designed for cyclists, and if you ignore the signs and cycle over it, pedestrians give you abuse? Any idea why they have done this?

    • None at all sorry. They weren’t there when I worked in that area and it’s sad that they’ve gone up. I suspect anti-social people on bikes (rather than genuine, honest, ‘people using bikes to get around’ cyclists,) have caused a knee jerk reaction. I’ll cycle over it and take the abuse; that’s why it was built at considerable cost.

  3. I’ve been over the bridge a few times without a problem if there’s pedestrians I stop, and continue once they’ve gone past or hopefully let me pass them. Either way it’s a great deal easier than using the bridge near to the Post Office Depot on Cowbridge Road.

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