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Transport blueprint published for the Welsh capital

Words: Roger Milne
Traffic in Cardiff / Shutterstock_1564245496

A £2 billion blueprint designed to transform Cardiff and South East Wales’s transport network has been unveiled by Cardiff City Council.

The council’s transport white paper sets out a 10-year plan to tackle the climate emergency, reduce congestion and improve air quality in the capital.

It was launched this week following consultation with thousands of city residents, health and transport experts.

Drivers could face a daily congestion charge of £2 to enter the capital under the plan’s proposals. The charge, for non-Cardiff residents, would be used to fund the proposals to improve public transport.

The council has suggested accelerating the construction of a new tram-train Cardiff Crossrail from east to west across the city.

This would include a new tram-train connecting Cardiff Central and Cardiff Bay by 2023, a new tram-train from Radyr to Cardiff Bay by 2024, and three stations by the same year.

By 2028 the proposals would see a new station in Gabalfa as well as Victoria Park, Velindre, Roath Dock and Splott, while a new mainline train station would be built at Cardiff Parkway in St Mellons, and “extensive regeneration” of Queen Street station is mooted.

A new ticket system, allowing one ticket to be used across the whole system including buses, nextbike and the Metro, would also be introduced.

The proposals also include new ‘bus rapid transit’ services and park-and-rides, cheaper bus travel and an enhanced network of safer walking and cycling routes.

Caro Wild, cabinet member for strategic planning and transport, said: “Urgent action and bold solutions are required. We want to deliver a greener, healthier, less congested city, with an affordable public transport system that works for everyone. This will require partnership working with the region and Welsh Government on a scale unheard of before.

“Cities that get transport right work. They make life easier and better for residents, commuters and visitors. Cities that get transport wrong have the opposite effect, and right now, right here, with a climate emergency declared, the argument for change couldn't be any more immediate.”

In a separate but related development, Welsh environment minister Lesley Griffiths has awarded the council £21 million to implement a series of measures to improve air quality after she approved its revised clean air proposals, chiefly designed to curb illegally high levels of nitrogen dioxide.

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