Wales

Cardiff clean air plan backed by cabinet

Cardiff city centre - Westgate Street/Wood Street junction
Image caption The council wants to boost the use of public transport to cut car emissions

Major changes to vehicle access in Cardiff city centre will form part of £21m plans to clean up the capital's air.

Castle Street and Westgate Street will be changed to single-lane traffic, with new cycle lanes proposed.

Cardiff Bus will also replace its oldest and most polluting vehicles with electric buses.

An earlier idea to charge motorists to enter a "clean air" zone in the city centre was dropped in March.

The council's Labour leaders concluded such a charge would penalise the owners of older cars and simply divert pollution to other parts of the city.

Cabinet members backed the revamped scheme on Thursday.

Cardiff's clean air strategy

  • A new two-way segregated cycle track around the city centre, passing Cardiff Castle, Queen Street station and the Motorpoint Arena
  • Traffic on Castle Street cut to one lane in each direction, keeping the southbound bus lane
  • Single-lane traffic in Westgate Street plus one-way cycle lanes
  • A gate on Westgate Street which would allow only buses to access the junctions with Wood Street and Park Street
  • Loans of £3.8m to Cardiff Bus to buy 36 electric buses
  • A target of 30% of taxi trade to switch to electric or hybrid vehicles

Conservative group leader Adrian Robson raised concerns that the plan may cause congestion in parts of the city.

But Caro Wild, cabinet member for transport, replied: "If you continue to make life easier for people driving cars we're not going to solve this issue."

The plans will now be submitted to the Welsh Government with a request for funding.

Gwenda Owen, chairwoman of Cardiff Cycle City, called plans for new cycle routes "ambitious".

"Cardiff council's plans are a really good indication they are committed to cycleways," she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

But she added: "Driver behaviour is one of the things that is most off-putting and intimidating. There needs to be more education."

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