Why are we proposing these changes?
The City’s transport network is already under pressure. Over 75,000 people commute into Cardiff from areas outside of the City each day, with 80% travelling by car. The private car is the dominant mode of travel for commuter trips within the City, equivalent to 57% of trips.
Future growth of population and employment are likely to increase traffic levels by 32%. (Cardiff Local Transport Plan, 2015-2020) Without transport interventions, these issues are likely to be exacerbated.
Traffic and congestion are the main contributors to poor air quality, which can affect everyone, directly or indirectly, with significant impacts on health, child development and environmental quality. Figures from Public Health Wales suggest that the number of deaths per year that can be attributed to poor air quality has increased to over 225 across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
Westgate Street is included in the designated City Centre Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) due to its poor air quality. Our proposals will contribute significantly to improving the existing situation by removing through-traffic along Westgate Street and improving access to active and sustainable travel.
Between 2011 and 2015, 21 collisions occurred on Westgate Street, with half of these accidents involving pedestrians. The “Bike Life Cardiff’ study conducted in 2017 found that 79% of residents would like to see more money spent on cycling and 79% support the building of protected cycle lanes. (Bike Life Cardiff Study 2017)
Our proposals for new segregated Cycleways will separate cyclists from vehicular traffic. Pedestrians will benefit from improvements to the public realm to create attractive routes with improved crossing facilities.
Encouraging Active Travel in Cardiff
The introduction of Nextbike to Cardiff has provided an easy way for people to start cycling. There are currently over 16,000 registered users. 57%
of Cardiff residents would like to start riding a bike or would like to ride their bike more (Bike Life Cardiff Study 2017)
The City Centre West Cycleway forms part of a wider network of five new Cycleways which will connect communities to major destinations across the City.
Safeguarding public transport and the new interchange
As part of the delivery of a new bus interchange at Central Square, we will be introducing changes to the local highway network to prioritise bus efficiency and reliability towards the interchange.
The new interchange will provide a high-quality facility which will support connections between modes, including rail, across Cardiff and the City Region. Our proposals for City Centre West will integrate with this facility and the wider network to provide people with the opportunity to travel entirely by sustainable modes.
The City Centre West Transport Improvement Project area includes important destinations such as the Principality Stadium, Cardiff Castle, and Central Square, as well as significant economic centres. Despite this, the area is currently characterised by poor quality public realm, wide carriageways which prioritise vehicle movement, and damaged infrastructure.
Our proposals will provide a high-quality gateway to these destinations and upgrade connectivity within the City Centre and to the wider region.
Cardiff is growing faster than any other major city in the UK outside of London and is projected to grow by more than every other local authority in Wales combined. This growth must be managed in a sustainable way by adopting new and innovative approaches. City Centre West forms part of a wider integrated strategy to achieve a step-change in sustainable travel uptake, which will contribute significantly to addressing the problem of congestion (and associated issues) in Cardiff.