Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Castle Street in Cardiff could reopen to private cars

Castle Street in Cardiff could reopen to private cars pending the results of a newly launched public consultation.

The street, a main street through the city center, was closed in June last year and then used as a public dining room last summer.

Last autumn, the road was opened again only for buses and taxis with a new separate cycle path. This was a temporary option as major traffic changes have to go through a lengthy legal process including a public hearing.

Now the Cardiff Council is asking the public what should happen next. The two options are either to leave the road unchanged – taxis, buses, ambulance and delivery vehicles only – or to reopen the road to all motor vehicles, including private cars.

Councilor Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transportation, said, “Congestion and air quality remain a major concern for the city’s residents and we are continuously trying to make improvements that will allow more people to use active travel and public transportation.

“There is limited space on Cardiff’s streets and sidewalks and we need to ensure that this space is used in a fair way that supports a sustainable city.

“Castle Street options are important to us to be right, and we really want to hear from people how the different options affect their daily lives.

“We know that for some people, car access is important, and while both options don’t prevent cars from entering parking lots, option two would prevent two people from using their cars to cross the street.

“For others, ensuring a faster ride on buses in the city center can improve their daily commute, or they may be more comfortable walking downtown with fewer cars. We have created a helpful consulting package so that people can understand the different effects. “

Even before the pandemic, the city council had to make major changes to Castle Street because pollutant levels exceeded legal limits. The measured amount of nitrous dioxide – a harmful pollutant caused by diesel vehicles – was regularly well above the limit value.

This prompted the council to come up with a plan for cleaner air in the city by reducing the space for private cars and making more space for buses, cyclists and pedestrians.

If Castle Street reopened to private vehicles, the road would have two lanes for regular traffic and one bus lane to the west. Sidewalks would be widened and the bike path would be preserved. The modeling for this option shows that nitrous oxide would not exceed the legal limit values.

The modeling created by the city council also shows that keeping the road as it is now would move some traffic to other parts of the city, but would not “have a negative impact on overall air quality across the city”.

After receiving the results of the public consultation, the Council’s Cabinet will decide in early summer which of the two options should be pursued. After the design and tendering of the work. Most of the renovation work on the road could be completed by the end of this year.

Full details of the plans and how to respond to the consultation can be found on the website: https://keepingcardiffmoving.co.uk/project/castlestreet/

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