Good news, everyone! The first piece of the primary route jigsaw is to be started this month.
The first stretch of the north-south primary route to be built will run along Senghennydd Road in Cathays.
The North South Primary Route
You may remember from our deep dive that the Council was planning two primary routes, unaffectionately known as cycle superhighways. They won’t be called that, but they will be protected cycleways.
We’ll call them Caro-Lines…Carolines…Sweet Caroline…
Anyway, the primary east-west route runs from St Mellons, through the middle of town and out towards Danescourt and eventually Creigiau.
The north-south route runs from Cardiff Bay, along Lloyd George Avenue, over the smart bridge and up through Cathays to Heath and onto Lisvane. It essentially links up the new housing developments.
The first separated cycleway will start to be built on Senghennydd Road on March 18th.
This will be the first phase of five proposed separated cycleways in Cardiff, as part of the Council’s commitment to improving cycling infrastructure in the Welsh Capital.
Whilst that stretch is built, consultation on the next phase –a much-needed remodelling of Lloyd George Avenue will take place. If the artists impressions are anything to go by, they’re really not mucking about.
If you missed it, we did a deep dive on the plans way back in 2016 when they were announced. You can find part 1 here.
Yes, the first pieces are perhaps the most straightforward, but they’re a start. Hopefully they’ll provide a number of important learning experiences for the council, so they’ll be in a stronger position to take on the really tricky parts –Newport Road, for example.
The interesting news doesn’t end there. Not resting on their laurels, there’s a plan to make Castle Street a little more people-friendly.
Castle Street is part of the primary east-west route, taking people from Newport Road, through town and out towards Llandaff and Danescourt. It’s also a noisy, smelly hell-hole right now and one where the pollution levels are ringing alarm-bells. Fortunately, there is a plan.
The Cabinet will be presented with an outline business case at its meeting on Thursday, March 21, and if approved the authority will apply to Welsh Government for the necessary funds to begin work on the two-year programme which includes:
- Implementation of electric buses to replace the oldest and most polluting buses – costing £1.8m
- Introduction of a Bus Retrofitting Scheme for bus operators in Cardiff to upgrade older buses so they meet Euro 6 engine emission standards – costing £1.4m
- Major changes to both Castle Street and Westgate Street and the city centre loop to allow for better and more efficient movement of public transport (buses) and increasing active travel capacity in the City Centre – costing £18.9m
- Review and implement a revised taxi policy to ensure that all applications to grant a ‘new vehicle license’ or for a ‘change of a vehicle on a current license’ are only approved for vehicles that meet the latest Euro 6 emission standards – costing £5.5m to help taxi owners make the required changes.
- Improvements to Active Travel and increased 20 mph areas – costing £4.5m
It’s only a business case at this point and they’ll need to secure funding, but imagine how much nicer Castle Street could be. I mean, it has a ruddy great castle on it and a load of shop fronts that are desperately under-utilised.
Remove 90% of the traffic from it and you’ll have a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by. It’ll also provide us with a convenient way to cross town.
Finally, since the initial concept drawings were released Central Square and the apparent controversy around it has been more than a little weird. Since then a few buildings have been been completed and things are starting to take shape, but the detail over what will be there for we two-wheeled folk has been difficult to pin down.
The latest news from Caro is:
So, that’s more bike stands; two Nextbike stations; 100+ bike parking places in the bus station and a bike hub on Wood Street. Fingers crossed that happens, but all tolled, exciting times are ahead.