Fewer car lanes on A48 between Cardiff and Newport in new cycle and bus lanes plan
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
Major changes to the A48 between Cardiff and Newport could see fewer lanes for cars to make space for new cycle and bus lanes.
The main road between the two cities currently has four lanes of general traffic, with narrow pavements.
But a huge new scheme would see dedicated separate lanes for buses and bicycles, with much less space for cars.
A consultation on the changes, led by the Welsh Government, has been launched and is running until March 11. The changes include upgrading the existing cycling route NCN 88.
Here’s the ‘road space reallocation’ the Burns Delivery Unit are looking at for the A48 between Newport and Cardiff
Part of today’s update on progress delivering the South East Wales Transport Commission blueprint
— Lee Waters MS (@Amanwy) February 3, 2022
“Travel between Cardiff and Newport is a key transport corridor in southeast Wales, but options for sustainable travel are limited,” a consultation document said.
“Currently, the A48 has poor facilities for buses and pedestrians and no provision for cyclists, despite connecting to major employment centres.
“The NCN 88 is much quieter, but some sections are unpaved, convoluted or subject only to the national speed limit.”
Answering questions on social media, Deputy Climate Chnage Minister Lee Waters said that the layout would improve bus services.
“Operators say the biggest barrier to take-up is reliability and journey times because of congestion. Giving buses greater priority will make buses a better option,” he said.
Transport planners at the Burns Delivery Unit, set up by the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales, are working with Newport council and Cardiff council to explore three options for both the A48 from Cypress Drive to Pencary Way, and the National Cycle Network Route 88 from St Mellons Business Park through Marshfield to Duffryn Way.
For the A48, all three options would see a separated two-way cycleway, and could include new cycle crossings or dedicated signals for cyclists. Pedestrians could also see wider pavements and better crossings. Bus lanes in both directions is another option explored. Drivers could see the road switch from four lanes of general traffic to just two.
For NCN 88, options include making some sections straighter and more direct, improving road safety in Marshfield, reducing speed limits in some mixed-traffic sections, and introducing more separation between cyclists and pedestrians from vehicle traffic.
Details of the plans can be found here.
The consultation document added: “With the right infrastructure, there is an opportunity for journeys between northeast Cardiff and west Newport to be made by bus or cycling instead of by car. This would not only improve access to major employment sites, but also contribute to a more sustainable transport system.”
Two new train stations are planned on either end of the proposed changes. Cardiff Parkway train station would be built on farmland south of St Mellons Business Park, while Newport West train station could be built near the John Frost School off Lighthouse Road. Plans for Cardiff Parkway are expected to go to Cardiff’s planning committee in the next few months.
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