Metro Plus: Cardiff East Bus Priority
What is the project about?
A £50 million programme of schemes has been developed (Metro Plus Regional Transport Authority (RTA) Programme), which will support the implementation of the South Wales Metro.
The Metro Plus RTA Programme will see each Local Authority within South East Wales receive a £3million share to implement a scheme. Funding is being provided from Welsh Government (£15million) and from the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CCRCD) (£15million) to implement this programme, with a further £20m being funded by Local Authority and private investment.
The Cardiff Eastside Transport Improvement Project seeks to deliver transport improvements to an area to the eastern side of Cardiff City Centre which includes the road network between Dumfries Place/Newport Road and Bute Terrace/Adam Street.
The ‘Eastside’ area currently provides a route for traffic between the northern and southern sides of the city centre and experiences high volumes of traffic during peak periods. The area is also heavily used by buses, forming part of a 2.1 mile anticlockwise loop of the city centre which buses are currently required to make. The area also contains a number of car parks and the main eastern bus hub on Churchill Way.
Large volumes of pedestrians use this area to access employment and retail opportunities in the city centre, with the area around particularly Queen Street Rail Station particularly busy. With high volumes of traffic also using the area there are currently a number of pedestrian severance issues which lead to pedestrians crossing outside of pedestrian signal phases and very often not using designated pedestrian crossings at all, with safety implications.
Improvement to sustainable transport provision and the public realm in this area would improve sustainable access to several of Cardiff’s large employment and visitor sites. The improvements would also enable the growth of the area as part of the proposed Cardiff Enterprise Zone supporting the development of the Capital City region. The scheme would improve the reliability of public transport links from the rest of the city and the South East Wales Region to improve access to employment, retail and leisure opportunities. Bus priority, increased route flexibility for operators and a reduction in general traffic are seen as some of the main factors that could have a positive effect on bus journey times and journey time reliability for passengers. Improvements to these areas will contribute to making bus travel a more attractive mode choice for travel to the city centre.
The South West regional Metro proposes to use Queen Street Station as a major interchange and to improve the connection between this station, Cardiff Central and Cardiff Bay. It is predicted that the number of trains serving Queen Street Station could increase by 50% once the Metro is completed. It is therefore necessary to plan for the additional passenger numbers that this could result in by improving the pedestrian and cycle environment and routes around the station to cater for this additional demand.
The Eastside project provides an opportunity to improve the public realm in Eastside area. The existing narrow pavements, wide heavily trafficked roads and dated design all contribute to the poor townscape environment and are in need of rejuvenation. Improvements to cycle infrastructure and the pedestrian environment will support the growth of sustainable transport modes within the area.
The Eastside area is in close proximity to the following key employment, education and
visitor destinations, including:
- St David’s Shopping Centre
- Motorpoint Arena
- University of South Wales Cardiff Campus
- Central Square
- Callaghan Square
- Cardiff Enterprise Zone
Investment and leverage
Expected benefits and outcomes
- Provide new bus priority measures that allow local and regional buses to use the eastern side of the City Centre to quickly and reliably access key economic areas, such as the City Centre Enterprise Zone, Queen Street Station, the retail zone and the new Transport Interchange in Central Square;
- Reduce the number of car through-movements within the project area, and use the highway space gained to prioritise active and sustainable transport infrastructure;
- Improve pedestrian safety through speed calming measures and improvements to the pedestrian environment;
- Improve cycling infrastructure by enabling the installation of the City Centre’s Cycle superhighways within the project area;
- Improve sustainable transport connections to Queen Street Station, and future proof the surrounding public realm against predicted increases in passenger numbers; and
- Contribute to an overall package of measures to deliver Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) compliance, as required by a legal direction from Welsh Government. To provide further localised air quality improvements by reducing NO2 levels to as low as reasonably practicable in and around Station Terrace.
New bus priority measures through Station Terrace, Churchill Way and Bute Terrace which enables:
- New bus priority linking the east and the south west of the city centre
- Bus priority to access the south entrance of the new transport interchange
- Bus priority for city centre event mode, plus access to the transport interchange on event days
- Enhanced cross city route capability
- New short access loop via Station Terrace and Churchill Way, linking Queen Street Station
- Enhanced bus stop facilities outside of Queen Street Station