Traders are pressing for pedestrianisation of one of Swansea’s busiest streets, arguing that their customers want a more leisurely experience and a change to the area’s ambience.
Some towns and cities have started to reintroduce vehicular traffic to pedestrianised streets in response to complaints from local businesses about lost trade (LTT 23 June). But the Swansea Business Improvement District (BID) has lobbied the city council for the pedestrianisation of Wind Street.
The street is dominated by restaurants, bars and clubs. City centre manager Lisa Wells told councillors that the types of establishment in the street had diversified away from “high volume vertical drinking”. Businesses were looking at the needs of consumers who demanded a “much more leisurely experience, with a change to the street scene and ambience of the area”.
The council and BID will jointly fund a feasibility study. Options range from minimal infrastructure work to replicating the “gold standard” of pedestrianisation in larger cities such as Cardiff and Barcelona, said Wells.
An evaluation undertaken by the authority had revealed that businesses and residents expected pedestrianisation to improve safety and encourage more visits by people from outside the city. Events could be held in the street after pedestrianisation, she added.
Elsewhere in the region, South Wales Police have warned of potential safety risks if Bridgend County Borough Council reintroduces vehicular traffic to three pedestrianised streets in Bridgend. Last year the authority applied for funding for design and implementation of the scheme (LTT 16 Dec 2016).
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