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Multimillion pound Crossrail project set to take a major step forward

08 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Crossrail tram. Photo TfW

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

The development of a multimillion-pound tram-train line in Cardiff is about to take a major step forward with a design and build partner set to be appointed.

Cardiff Council cabinet members will be asked to approve a recommendation at a meeting on Thursday, March 21, to procure and appoint a delivery partner for the first phase of Cardiff Crossrail.

The multimillion-pound transport project will eventually see a tram-train line run from the northwest of the city to the east.

Phase one of the project will involve developing the tram-train line between Cardiff Central and Cardiff Bay railway stations.

Ambition

Cardiff Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and transport, Cllr Dan De’Ath, said: “The Crossrail has been a long-held ambition for some time, to provide a cross-city tram service that is affordable and reliable for the public to use, and to connect some of Cardiff’s poorest communities to the rail network for the first time.”

The cabinet member also said the first phase of the “ambitious” plan will ensure that Butetown is “properly connected to the city centre”.

He added: “The scheme will also create jobs in construction and operation and give the residents of Butetown better travel options for both work and pleasure.

“The social value of the contract will be confirmed by the chosen contractor when the bids are received and evaluated.

“Once the first phase is delivered, this route can be extended to the east or south, providing a new reliable and affordable transport route for the public to use.”

Consultation

At the meeting later this month, cabinet members will also be asked to approve a recommendation which gives authority for the council and Transport for Wales (TfW) to start the consultation and engagement process on the plan with the public.

Cardiff Council, in partnership with TfW, secured £100m in funding for the Cardiff Crossrail project in January 2023.

Money from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to the tune of £50m was also secured, with Welsh Government match funding a further £50m for the project.

The £50m UK Government funding must be spent by the middle of 2026 and the Welsh Government’s funding will be awarded in four annual instalments of £12.5m each from 2026.

To meet these timelines, the project has been divided up into two delivery phases.

Phase 1a

This phase is fully funded and will require a significant redevelopment of the highway network around Callaghan Square so the tram-train can connect onto the existing Cardiff Bay train line, as well as a new tram-train platform at Cardiff Central.

There will also be a new public realm in front of Callaghan Square, a new segregated cycleway to connect Cardiff Central with Callaghan Square linking with the wider strategic network, and changes to the access arrangements for general traffic through Bute Terrace and Lower St Mary Street.

Phase 1b

This phase isn’t currently funded, but it will include the re-modelling of the highway network around the Flourish and Pierhead Street to allow for a new tram track extension to be built.

This part of the scheme will also include improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, like new crossing facilities and a new segregated cycleway to connect Roald Dahl Plass with the new indoor arena development.

An outline business case for phase one of Cardiff Crossrail is expected to be submitted to the UK Government in April 2024 and a public consultation could take place in autumn 2024 – the same time that enabling works are scheduled to commence.

A full business case is expected to be submitted to the UK Government in winter 2024 and construction could begin by summer or autumn 2025, subject to a further cabinet approval to award the tender for the project.


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Glwyo
Glwyo
1 month ago

A positive development in transportland at least, direct connection from Central to Bay has been needed since forever. As incompetent as Cyngor Caerdydd seem to be.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Saint Hornby Day again in Toy Town…

Charles
Charles
1 month ago

Any chance of a few bob towards an improved bus service in Mid and north Wales ?

Garan
Garan
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles

No we don’t exist West of Swansea and North of Merthyr .Reopen the Aberystwyth – Carmarthen line ( No chance with South Wales in charge) yet they spend billions on dueling the heads of the valleys for 5 miles and electrifying the lines to Cardiff and Valleys as well as reopening the Maesteg line and Ebbw vale line and more to come ..should move the assembly up to Machynlleth .

David Parry
David Parry
1 month ago
Reply to  Garan

North,east and west of Cardiff doesn’t exist as far as they are concerned.

Glwyo
Glwyo
30 days ago
Reply to  Garan

Everything that’s been done so far around Caerdydd are easy wins – double tracks, electrification etc in places where a lot of people live and work and extra capacity has been needed for years. Aber-Caer meanwhile would be cost billions and would have a negative RoI for generations. Now I concede that it is strategically desirable to build a modern line between them but in a cash strapped land like Cymru, which sorely needs to demonstrate at least one economically productive region, it can’t be a priority.

Garan
Garan
27 days ago
Reply to  Glwyo

Aye we would have a better economy as well .Your just trying to justify why we shouldn’t and how very ironic to think it was mainly West and North Wales who voted for the assembly whereas Cardiff said no.Only 2% is built on .Like I said you keep everything to South Wales as always Im alright and Fxxk everyone else attitude. .how about all the money spent on consultations to build on the Gwent levels .Oh and how about the failing airport ??? How much of tax payers money has gone into this airport and you are telling me about… Read more »

Ian
Ian
1 month ago

Welcome to fantasy land wales you can’t run a real train or bus service, just build yourselves a model train set and play with that, as where fed up with you lies and broken promises.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian

Agree. Cardiff needs a cheap efficient and frequent bus service now so people can get to work and play. This development is centred around the city centre where loads of money had already been spent. Splott, Llandaf North etc has dreadful service and no plan here to improve it.

Glwyo
Glwyo
30 days ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

Sblott is on the path of the crossrail line and Llandaf is on the circular. The development is centred where it’s easy to deliver, by repurposing existing assets connected with short sections of new track; in fact I’d argue it’s unambitious and unimaginative. I’d also argue that Pontprennau, Llanedeyrn ayyb are the ones with most to gripe about

David Parry
David Parry
1 month ago

Ahhhhhhhhh!!! Cardiff,Cardiff,Cardiff. It’s sickening at how much money gets thrown at that place. That glass shed in the bay has zero interest in the rest of Wales. And they want another thirty AMs!!!!. No doubt twenty nine of those AMs will be for Cardiff areas. Shut the hole down, do us all a favour.

East Newport Dave
East Newport Dave
1 month ago

Don’t you just love it! Apparently the project is to connect the poorer community of Butetown with Cardiff City Centre……..obviously not for the convenience of the Senedd! I’m a supporter of an independent Wales, but please don’t treat the public as fools!

Keith Parry
Keith Parry
30 days ago

What a total waste of money. !00 million to duplicate a railway that already goes to the Bay. Money that would fund bus services in Cardiff and the rest of Wales that have been greatly reduced by the absurd Labour Regime. The railways could have dozens of new carriages if diesel rains had been bought not these trams which are a very expensive option. Lee Waters and his cronies wasting millions on their Net Zero fantasies.

Glwyo
Glwyo
30 days ago
Reply to  Keith Parry

My recent bus experience in Caerdydd was went so well that I gave up and walked the entire journey (I would have used the trains but the layout of the tracks is such that it was faster to walk for 50 minutes). This is no slight on buses there, buses are basically crap everywhere I go and no promises of “better buses, for real this time” can ever make them good. I’ll take rails with well defined stops and enough service frequency to render delays irrelevant any day. Btw the new trains were ordered by Keolis-Amey before Lee Waters was… Read more »

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