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As part of a 3-month trial two of the gates in Bute Park will see their opening hours extended until 7pm every evening in October, November and December to enable commuters to continue using the main cycle and walking route (from North Road to Sophia Gardens) during the winter months.
In winter, Bute Park can close as early as 3.45pm meaning those commuters who normally use the park must use longer, more heavily trafficked routes or, in some cases, a car.
The trial is in response to calls in recent years from local cyclists and cycling groups who rely on the route through the park for their daily journey.
The gates with extended opening hours are those at the Millennium Bridge, which links Sophia Gardens to Bute Park and Fisher Bridge, which links North Road and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to the park. All other access gates will follow the normal closing times.
Council officers, in consultation with Councillors are working to ensure that the route is as secure as possible for all users. Stewards will be positioned at both gates for additional security and advice to users.
It is also important that cyclists using the route during the trial have their front and rear bike lights switched on as they ride through the park to maximise visibility.
To help with this, the Bike Shed, a local bike shop on Cathedral Road is offering a 20% discount on all commuter bicycle lights purchased during the trial period.
The progress of the experiment will be closely monitored by Council Officers who will keep track of the numbers of users and any issues which may arise. We are looking for feedback from all users of Bute Park to find out what they think of the extended opening of the park, and we have set up an online survey here:
Dates of 3 month pilot: 3rd October 2011 – 31st December 2011 (but under constant review)
Gates with extended opening hours: Millennium Bridge and Fisher Bridge (see attached location plan)
Opening times of gates at Millennium Bridge and Fisher Bridge: 7.30am – 7.00pm
Opening times of all other gates: 7.30am – 30 mins before dusk