One of Cardiff’s main city roads has reopened to general traffic for the first time since July 2020.
Last summer, Cardiff’s Castle Street was transformed into a pedestrianised, alfresco dining area to boost trade within the hospitality sector. This saw the closure of the busy road for all motor vehicles with traffic being diverted out of the city centre.
Although the road had reopened for buses and taxis by Autumn last year, the recommendation to reopen Castle Street for all traffic split public opinion.
A consultation by Cardiff Council in which 6,227 people took part saw 53.8% of people believing there would be a considerable benefit in reopening the road to general traffic. However, 33.8% believed it was best to keep general traffic off the road.
Whilst the decision to open Castle Street to all motor vehicles has gone ahead, nearby Westgate Street has closed to through traffic with a new bus gate installed on the road.
What is a bus gate?
A bus gate is installed to create a short cut for buses and restrict motorists using the specific route or road. The change means that any road-users apart from buses, taxis, cyclists and pedestrians are not to travel on Westgate Street.
What does this mean for me?
Private vehicles who drive through a bus gate will be liable to a Penalty Charge Notice of £75. The council have warned that enforcement cameras will be put in place to stop Westgate Street being used as a through route.
The changes to the city centre roads come as the council supports the prioritisation of bus travel and sustainable modes of transport to improve air quality.
The council said that the change to Westgate Street is a ‘key component’ of their Clean Air Plan, agreed with the Welsh Government following a legal directive to ensure air quality is kept below legal limits.
Residents living on Westgate Street will be able to access their homes via Castle Street and diversion routes will also be in place for any motorists who enter Westgate street by mistake.