Police have warned people not to use the Taff Trail after dark following a spate of robberies in recent weeks. The recommendation drew an immediate stinging response from cyclists on social media.
The Taff Trail is a major cycle route into Cardiff and is also popular with walkers and runners. However, it is poorly lit in places and police say they are investigating seven robberies that have taken place in the last five weeks.
Yesterday, Cardiff Metropolitan University tweeted: “We have been made aware of a rise in robberies on the Taff Trail recently. @SWPCardiff have recommended using alternative routes in and out of the city at this time.
“Please report any incidents to the police. Dial 101, or 999 in an emergency.”
Police say all seven incidents took place between 8pm and midnight and were near the Cardiff city centre end of the trail.
A force spokesperson added: “Patrols are being stepped up in the area, but we'd also urge everyone to take normal precautions whenever they're walking in unlit or poorly lit areas. In the hours of darkness, we always encourage people to stick to well-lit, busy roads.”
Many reacted angrily to the advice on social media, expressing a belief that a major active travel route should be better policed.
“Cardiff has very few decent cycleways and cycling on Cardiff’s roads risks harm from poor driving,” tweeted Mick Allen. “Telling people to avoid using what should be an excellent public resource is lazy and very disappointing.”
“Is this official advice?” asked Alun Emanuel. “Thought we were supposed to be encouraging active travel, not surrendering one of the best parts of the city to low life.”
“Pretty much the only safe cycle route in Cardiff,” observed ethelreddy. “Advice from SWP is to not use it. Meanwhile, they are on Queen Street handing out fines to people on bikes.”
“Is there truth in this?” asked Tom Donne. “Should I ditch my bike and use the car?”