Roadworks to begin to prepare Cardiff’s Castle Street to reopen for private cars
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
Roadworks will begin on Monday to prepare Castle Street in Cardiff city centre to reopen for private cars.
Signs put up on Kingsway, near Castle Street, say the road will be closed for six weeks, and Cardiff council says is aiming to reopen the road to general traffic by the end of October.
The controversial decision split public opinion with many drivers complaining of increased congestion on nearby streets like Cathedral Road, while environmental campaigners called for more space to be given to pedestrians and cyclists.
Another issue was nitrogen dioxide, a harmful air pollutant, which the council is forecasting to increase by 40 per cent on Castle Street after the road is reopened to private cars.
However, council officers also claimed nitrogen dioxide increased on nearby residential streets, as a result of the closure, in places like Grangetown and Riverside.
The road was closed to traffic in the summer of 2020 and pedestrianised before an outdoor cafe area was installed on the street. Then last autumn the road reopened to just buses and taxis.
The council announced in June plans to reopen the road to private cars, after fears the closure was leading to higher rates of air pollution in nearby residential streets.
A council spokesman said: “Signage has been put up on-street to notify residents and motorists that work will start on site from September 6, so that the required works can be carried out on Castle Street with the aim to re-open the road to general traffic by the end of October.”
The plans to reopen the road include making the pavement on the south side of Castle Street narrower, to make space for an extra lane of traffic.