Running alongside the River Taff, life isn’t always a walk in the park.
Riverside is an area of Cardiff perhaps best known for its Sunday food market, scenic parks, and shopping districts. However, it’s not without its own share of contentious issues.
There are problems which plague the entirety of Cardiff. The city’s unemployment rate was at 5.6% as of June 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics. Over the past two years homelessness has increased by 81%. Last month Riverside was swept up in a cleaning blitz, part of the city council’s “Love Where You Live” campaign focused on reducing litter.
What about the perspectives of the people who actually live and work in Riverside? Is there enough public transportation, or too many buses? Are the roads safe? Is the area affordable?
We took to the streets to get the opinions of everyday citizens about the problems that impact their home.
Francis, age 70, retired
“We haven’t had any problems, really. When we first moved in here years ago there were gangs, but that all seems to be gone now. We don’t see many policemen coming round. I’d like more on the beat, keeping an eye out. Noise is a problem— we live on a main road.”
Musti, aged 21, shop manager
“More trains. Less police! Too many police everywhere, to be honest. People are getting locked up for minor things. Police need to take their job more seriously. When’s something actually serious, when’s it more a minor thing? They don’t need to take someone to jail, because they’re really killing the younger folks’ future. There future is looking bright, they’ve got a job, and later they can’t get a job, because of really minor, stupid things. More jobs would be good.”
Bear, age 25, internet café attendant
“There’s too much traffic. But it’s an urban area, so I think that comes down to a personal thing with me. It’s too many people, too many cars.”
Jeremy, Martin and Seb, all aged 21
“Everything’s great. People don’t litter, they recycle.”
“More benches would be nice. I’d like more playgrounds and parks.”
“More sports areas, like what we have here. Sometimes you’ll get two groups, some wanting to play basketball and some wanting to play football, and there isn’t space for both.”
Neil, aged 40, butcher
“Thieves. It’s not too bad, there are a couple odd thieves along here. There are a few homeless people about as well. It’s a nice neighbourhood, really, except for thieving and stuff like that.”
Dejwaar, 35 years old, shop owner
“I used to live here before, somebody broke my car windows. Now, I think it’s quite safe.“
Rhinna, aged 52, volunteer works coordinator
“The people are very helpful. The road is not really very good, but the public transport is very good. In front of my office is a bus stop, you can easily get to town centre. It’s easy to change buses. Mostly the white people complain about trash in the street, but it’s really the white people doing it. So often you’ll see a teenager finish something and throw it on the ground. Our children are more responsible, because we train them at home.”
Mark Williams, aged 57, unemployed
“I’ve been living here now over twenty years. Living here is okay, but the trouble is, there isn’t much jobs. That’s me, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to find a job. Public transport is good, I don’t really have any issues. Health insurance is good.”
Cecile, shop clerk
“I was worried about the salaries of young people, because they tend to have less salary than older people. They can’t afford their life.”
AJ, aged 34, barber shop owner
“No issues. Everything is close to the town. We’ve had no problems with safety. We’re happy with everything. Maybe we could bring more girls around, make the streets look beautiful.”