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Plan revealed for more bus lanes and parking restrictions to improve bus travel in Cardiff

Cardiff Bus recently announced that it is having to make a number of cuts and changes to its services due to a lack of funding (Pic: Google Maps)

A PLAN for more bus lanes and parking restrictions in Cardiff has been revealed to help improve bus transport in the city.

Cardiff Council’s cabinet will consider a report on Thursday, March 21, which proposes to make a number of changes to six key bus routes.

The plan, produced in consultation with Cardiff Bus, Transport for Wales (TfW) and other operators, also includes proposals to relocate bus stops and make improvements to key junctions like the one between Albany Road, City Road, Crwys Road and Richmond Road.

There is also a proposal to continue an assessment of Gabalfa roundabout to see how it can better serve bus routes.

Cardiff Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and transport, Councillor Dan De’Ath, said: “By investing in public transport and active travel, we will provide a credible alternative to travelling by private car, which in turn has significant benefits, giving residents and visitors better and healthier options to travel around the city.

“The aim has to be to reduce congestion, significantly improve the air that we all breathe, while making Cardiff a better place to live and visit.”

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Cardiff Council set itself a target to double the number of people in the city travelling by bus between 2018 and 2030.

Bus patronage has gradually been recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, however congestion at specific pinch points continues to cause problems for bus operators.

Last year, Cardiff Bus announced a number of changes to its services and removed some, citing funding issues and the slow return of pre-pandemic patronage as some of the reasons behind its overhaul.

Cllr De’Ath said: “This plan proposes six key bus routes which will connect with key interchange points, including the new bus interchange, Waungron station, the University Hospital for Wales and current and future park and ride sites.

“The aim is to provide faster services, more accessible services that are easier to use, better integration between bus, rail, light rail, cycling and walking, and a better foundation to bid for future transport funding.

“It is important to make it clear that we are not proposing dedicated bus lanes along the length of these six routes, rather targeted interventions using a range of different methods to make travel by bus more attractive for both residents and visitors to use”
Here is a look at the proposed six key bus routes and the possible interventions that could be brought in there:

Route 1 – Ely to the city centre 

This route will connect Ely, Trelai, Canton and Riverside with onward connections to the city centre. 

On this route, the highway isn’t wide enough to have dedicated bus lanes on either side of the road, although priority lanes and possible restrictions for general traffic will be assessed to improve journey times.

Other potential interventions could include:

  • Kerbside controls – to stop pavement parking, parking in bus stops and cars blocking bus lanes 
  • Reorganising bus stops to ensure there is a safe crossing for pedestrians
  • Installing technology on junctions to give priority to buses

Route 2 – University Hospital of Wales to the International Sports Village

As well as providing a connection to Grangetown and the International Sports Village, this route will also provide onward travel to the Vale of Glamorgan.

On this route, various interventions will be considered to improve the journey times through Plasnewydd, Cathays and Gabalfa, including:

  • Kerbside controls 
  • Improvements to the Albany Road/City Road/Richmond Road/Crwys Road junction and the Newport Road/City Road junction
  • The use of technology to give priority to buses and improvements to bus stops
  • Further interventions towards the International Sports Village, such as bus lanes, could be considered due to the width of the highway on this part of the route

Route 3 – City centre to Newport Road, onto Cardiff Parkway and Newport

This route will run from the city centre down Newport Road to Cardiff Parkway and onto the Newport boundary. It will also provide services to Pentwyn, Pontprennau, Rumney and St Mellons. The potential interventions on this route could include:

  • Bus lanes to give priority in specific sections of the route
  • Technology to give priority to buses
  • Improvements to the Newport Road/Wentloog Road junction, the Newport Road/City Road junction and the Newport Road/Westgrove junction 
  • Kerbside controls 
  • Relocating bus stops to ensure there are safer crossings for pedestrians

Route 4 – City centre to Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Council said this route would look to “future proof current bus routes to support future developments and existing railway routes”.

No clear indication has yet been given of what improvements could be made here, but the council said potential interventions could include “some, or all of the interventions available to prioritise bus travel”.

Route 5 – City centre, north Cardiff, RCT and Caerphilly 

What the council calls the “most established route so far”, this bus route is made up of several routes that connect with north Cardiff through Gabalfa roundabout and on to the city centre. It also allows ongoing travel to both RCT and Caerphilly. The potential interventions on this route could include:

  • An ongoing assessment of Gabalfa roundabout to identify how buses can be given priority
  • New technology to give priority to buses at junctions
  • Reorganisation of bus stops 
  • Improvements to the Merthyr Road/Caerphilly Road junction

Route 6 – City centre to Plasnewydd and north-east Cardiff

This route will connect the Plasnewydd and Penylan, providing access to educational facilities in the area. The possible interventions include:

  • Kerbside interventions 
  • Relocation of bus stops
  • Installing technology at junctions to give priority to buses
  • Improvements to the Albany Road/City Road/Richmond Road/Crwys Road junction and improvements to the Newport Road/Westgrove junction

Managing director of Cardiff Bus, Craig Hampton-Stone, said: “Cardiff Bus fully supports the ambition to introduce bus priority infrastructure as identified in this plan. 

“Buses are critical to the city’s transport needs and account for 80% of all public transport journeys. 

“Now is the time to really underpin this by getting our buses moving again and we hope the collaborative approach shown will underscore the importance of plan to Cardiff and gain the unequivocal backing and funding from Welsh Government”.

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