Cardiff’s Plan to Exit Lockdown As One of UK’s ‘Safest’ Cities Revealed
Creating one-way walking systems to safeguard the public, setting up welcome points to explain how moving round the city centre will work and opening up Cardiff Castle's grounds to create a ‘new' public square for local businesses to use are just some of the schemes Cardiff Council is considering as it prepares to exit lockdown.
The measures include:
Welcome Points - installed at the main pedestrian access points to the city. Welcome Points will offer information to the visitor/shopper/worker on how the city centre works, how to visit in a safe way, how to reach particular destinations, a walking plan, hand-washing facilities, cycle-parking facilities and a member of staff to assist. Signage and street ambassadors will also be available throughout the city centre to assist visitors and re-enforce the information provided at the welcome point.
One-way pedestrian movement - Pedestrians (shopper/workers/visitors) within the city centre will need to follow signed/marked routes to ensure social distancing is observed. A plan is being developed to cover all city centre streets, dependent upon footfall and the availability of safe (socially distanced) walking space.
Car Parking - many of the existing city centre car parks will need to operate at a reduced capacity in order to enable people to leave and return to their cars in a safe manner. A combined (public/private) approach to the availability of city centre car parking is being developed. To support this a comprehensive network of Park and Ride/Park and Stride/Park and Cycle facilities need to be developed to manage car access away from the centre, but to allow easy walking/cycling/bus access for the ‘last mile' of the journey.
Accessing the City Centre - An integrated city transport plan will help people access the city centre via car, public transport and active travel (walking or cycling).The transport plan could see the city centre put into ‘event mode'. This would see road closures similar to those put in place for major rugby internationals in the Principality Stadium.
Car Access - As lockdown restrictions ease and people return to work, it's important the transport system is managed in a way that enables social distancing and keeps people safe. Capacity on public transport is likely to be limited for several months and there would be negative impacts in terms of air quality, congestion and emissions if everyone chose to drive instead. Around 29% of households in Cardiff do not have access to a car or van meaning it is essential to provide safe and sustainable alternatives to public transport. This will largely be in the form of improved walking and cycling infrastructure, and residents who can will be encouraged to consider active travel methods for shorter journeys.
Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport said: "It is essential that we do what we can to enable people to continue to cycle and walk as lockdown restrictions ease. There is a chance for us all now to see first-hand how a greener and a safer Cardiff could look. Capacity on public transport will be limited for some time, and we think a lot of people will continue to work from home, which should reduce car numbers into the city. What we don't want to see is congestion and pollution levels building again. Especially with the measures we will have to introduce widening pavements to ensure social distancing rules can be followed.
"To help we are looking at delivering a ‘pop-up' cycleway network to encourage people who can, to cycle into the city centre or their neighbourhood centres rather than drive. We will also look at providing additional cycle parking in key locations in the city centre and in our neighbourhood centres. We will review the potential for creating ‘park and pedal' sites and we will install bus priority measures such as bus gates to maximise the capacity of buses by minimising journey times and ensuring reliability of services."
The strategic plan and an accompanying Council report will go to Cardiff Council's Cabinet for discussion on Thursday, June 11. The full document is available to read here