Hopes remain for proposed Eastern Bay Link in Cardiff despite freeze on new roads
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
Hopes remain for a proposed new link road in Cardiff despite the Welsh Government’s freeze on building roads.
Phase two of the Eastern Bay Link road would see the ring road in the Splott area of they city completed, upgrading Rover Way from the Ocean Way roundabout to the roundabout at Lamby Way.
The plans would mean the A4232 would connect from the A48 down to Cardiff Bay, potentially diverting lorries from driving through residential areas in Splott and Adamsdown.
In June this year the Welsh Government announced a freeze on all new road building projects, pending a review. But Cardiff council is still pressing ministers to support the link road.
Council leader Huw Thomas said: “Only a kilometre of new road has been built in Cardiff since devolution. I think there is a compelling case to be made in particular around the Eastern Bay Link, completing from the Queensgate roundabout eastwards to the end of Rover Way to be upgraded.
“That’s really important not just as a gateway to the city and Cardiff Bay, but as a way of diverting traffic away from residential areas including my own ward of Splott.”
He was responding to a question from Councillor Tom Parkhill during a full council meeting on Thursday, October 21. The Welsh Government said the temporary freeze was needed to cut carbon emissions, and is planning to shift funding towards public transport instead.
The Welsh Government is aiming to get Wales to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while Cardiff council is aiming to get the city to net zero by 2030. Transport emits about 41 per cent of carbon emissions in Cardiff, and transport emissions have barely reduced in years. After the review, funding would be prioritised for where new roads are needed the most.
Cllr Thomas said: “To be clear it’s not a moratorium, it’s a nine-month review that looks to consider all the highway schemes across Wales, seeking to reduce the carbon footprint across Wales and protect people and wildlife from the climate emergency.
“I welcome and support it and my hope is that, by taking this review, that unlocks Welsh Government capital funding that can then be used on where is the most appropriate and most prioritised need for road building. But also, where projects are excluded, that money could be diverted into much needed public transport infrastructure investment as well.
“On the Easterm Bay Link, conversations at an official level have been happening for some years now with a decent amount of detail. I will certainly be making representations, when I next meet the climate change minister and the deputy minister for transport, of the importance of that road.
“But crucially, capital spending unlocked by this review should also be used for public transport infrastructure, not least the delivery of the Cardiff transport strategy which makes a fundamental contribution to our drive to be net zero by 2030.”
The Eastern Bay Link road has long been seen as the missing link in Cardiff’s ring road. Plans for the A4232 were first drawn up in the early 1970s with work starting later in the decade. The first phase of the Eastern Bay Link road was built between 2016 and 2017, stretching from Queensgate roundabout in Cardiff Bay to the Ocean Way roundabout.
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