A game-changing £1bn transport vision designed to cut congestion and improve air quality in Cardiff has been revealed by the leader of Wales’ capital city.
Cllr Thomas said: “Cardiff’s transport network needs to change. It was originally designed for a city with a population of 200,000, but today our population is closer to 400,000 and there are another 80,000 commuters travelling into the city by car every day.
“It’s clear to everyone that this situation is unsustainable. We have a network which is already creaking. It only takes one road to go down in the city for delays to ensue. We also have some of the highest levels of NO2 in Wales.
“That is why I am setting out a vision today for a greener, more sustainable city a vision which could transform the way people move around our city by 2030. It is a plan for the future of Cardiff and it affects everyone who lives here and travels here to work.
“It is clear we won’t deliver this overnight, but we are today bringing forward the council’s aspiration while fully recognising that we will have to work effectively with Welsh Government and other partners. We will also need to have a serious public conversation about how this vision can be funded.”
The measures include:
- Cardiff Cross Rail – a new light rail/tram line from east to west connecting major population centres and new suburbs in the west with Cardiff Central
- Cardiff Circle Line – a joined up complete orbital light rail/tram line linking large residential areas to the transport network
- A new park and ride at junction 32 of the M4 connected to the Circle Line
- A new Rapid Bus Transport Network using green and electric vehicles
- New, safe cycleways and walking routes linked to bus, rail and tram networks
- An integrated ticketing system allowing the user to move seamlessly from one transport mode to another.
- Making Cardiff a 20mph city
Cllr Thomas said: “This might well be our last opportunity to get transport right for Cardiff.We have consistently argued that the city’s future prosperity relies on an effective transport infrastructure, with seamless access to the UK’s motorway network, and free-flowing routes into, and around the city.
“Notwithstanding the recent announcement on the M4 Relief Road, it is clear that urgent investment is desperately needed in the transport infrastructure of the region. This must be seen in the wider economic context of Wales. The Cardiff Capital Region is the country’s economic engine, with Cardiff alone delivering 20,000 new jobs last year into the Welsh economy. The capital sums previously earmarked for the new M4 must now be invested in South East Wales. Our vision – made real – alongside the delivery of the Metro, could fundamentally reshape the transport infrastructure in the city for the betterment of the whole region.
Inter connectivity between travel by train, bus and bicycle is critical to the city's transport vision. This is an artist impression of what Dumfries place will look like… pic.twitter.com/yGqXxEosrN
— Cardiff Council (@cardiffcouncil) July 4, 2019
Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, Cllr Caro Wild, said: “Get transport right and it’s a game changer. It adds real impetus to a city’s economic development agenda. It helps tackle inequality by better connecting people with opportunity. It improves quality of life and provides a visible pointer to the city’s environmental credentials.
“Get it wrong and it signals the inevitable erosion of your economic competitiveness and a slow decay in quality of life. It’s therefore hardly surprising that transport is consistently the single most important issues for residents.We now look forward to continuing to work with Welsh Government and other partners to make this game-changing investment in the city region’s transport network a reality.
“This vision represents some early ideas which have followed on from last year’s Transport and Clean Air Green Paper. It sets out our direction of travel. We will be bringing forward a White Paper in the autumn with more plans for the city, but we were keen for the conversation to begin now.”