Cardiff’s Castle Street set to remain open to general traffic.
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
Cardiff Council is set to allow general traffic to continue using Castle Street
The road was shut to all traffic in summer 2020 before reopening to just buses and taxis in the autumn of that year.
Following a public consultation, Castle Street was re-opened to general traffic in June 2021 as a temporary measure.
With disruption to traffic expected in Cardiff through future construction work, like the development of a new tram line to the Bay, it is hoped that making the move permanent will improve traffic flow in the city.
Air quality modelling has also shown that banning general traffic on Castle Street would lead to an increase in Nitrogen Dioxide concentrations on the city’s wider road network.
The council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and transport, Councillor Dan De’Ath, said: “The modelling data shows that allowing all traffic to use Castle Street does marginally improve the overall air quality in the city centre and the surrounding road network.
“When transport planning, we must ensure that there are adequate routes from the east of the city to the west and vice versa, not only for motorists, but for cyclists and pedestrians as well.
“Also, keeping Castle Street open to general traffic will help traffic continue to flow into and out of the city centre in the future when we consider other road calming measures.
“For instance, we know that we will have to look at restricting the east to west route via Callaghan Square where traffic lanes will need to be removed to allow the new on street tram/train line to be built for the first phase of Cardiff Crossrail.
“This is an exciting project which will really begin to change the public transport offer across the city.”
Cardiff Council’s cabinet will discuss two options for the future of Castle Street at its meeting on Thursday April 27, with a recommendation, subject to Welsh Government funding, to allow general traffic to continue using it.
The other option being discussed will be to only allow buses, taxis and cyclists to use the street. Both options achieve the legally required air quality on Castle Street.
Cllr De’Ath added: “Other requirements must also be assessed other than air quality, we need to consider the impact of any change on any road layout on the wider highway network; we must protect residential areas from air pollution; support cycling and walking and install a permanent scheme on Castle Street that befits a capital city. At the end of the day, we must improve the local environment for everyone.”
On Castle Street there are currently two lanes for general traffic, a westbound bus lane and a two-way cycleway.
The move would see work done on Castle Street to make the temporary road set up permanent.
This includes installing new bus islands, a permanent cycle way, new pavements and a re-surfacing of the road.
Following the necessary tender process, work could start on-street in early 2024.
However, it is not yet known whether or not the work will mean a full road closure.
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