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Social distancing arrives in Cardiff city centre

Coronavirus: Pavements extended to aid cyclists and pedestrians

Mark Moran
18 May 2020
The etended pavement alongside Cardiff Castle
The etended pavement alongside Cardiff Castle


Social distancing measures have been installed on Castle Street in the centre of Cardiff. The traffic lane next to Cardiff Castle was removed on Sunday 17 May so that the pavement can be extended into the road for both pedestrians and cyclists to use.

This is the first city centre project to keep the public safe and able to socially distance on the highway network. The shared space will run from the Cathedral Road/Cowbridge Road junction, over Canton Bridge, along Castle Street, Duke Street and up to the North Road-Boulevard De Nantes junction.

The shared space on Castle Street, will be temporarily marked out with traffic cones. These cones will then be replaced with bolt-down pole cones.

Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, said: "We have to ensure that any changes we make to roads and pavements are safe for all road users. Castle Street is the first road scheme in the city. It will be installed on Sunday and a similar scheme on Wood Street is currently being looked into.

"It's not possible for us to transform all public space in the city overnight, but we are doing all that we can, with the resources available, to bring in these social-distancing schemes as quickly as possible.

"With the significant increase in the number of people cycling and walking in the city, it is important, more than ever, for all users of public space to be respectful and mindful of others especially with vulnerable users.”

Earlier works at Roath Park Lake saw a one-way footpath to aid social distancing as well as the removal of visitor parking bays nearest to the lake to provide additional space for cyclists and joggers.

A pilot scheme to enable social distancing in neighbourhood shopping centres will be launched at Wellfield Road, in Plasnewydd.  The council said it is working with businesses in the area to develop the final scheme, but it will involve removing the parking bays on either side of the road to allow the pavement to be extended to give extra space to allow social distancing measures to be followed.

Cardiff's ‘one-city' approach to tackling the COVID-19 outbreak has been praised by the leader of Cardiff Council, who says the city ‘must continue to work together' to ensure Wales' capital recovers from the effects of the pandemic.

The city's leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, has thanked key workers, public sector staff and residents for the important roles they have all played in helping to slow the spread of the virus.

Cllr Thomas said: “The latest ONS figures indicate 265 COVID-19 deaths in Cardiff up to 1 May. We know that behind each of these numbers is a terrible personal tragedy, and our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected. The lockdown has had a major impact on all aspects of city life. We are living through a period of unprecedented change. Throughout it all I have been struck by the remarkable adaptability, strength and courage of our city, its residents and its public sector.

"The cabinet and I are immensely proud of the council's response during what continues to be a difficult and painful time, and we are so grateful for the work that council staff have undertaken to support our communities and the many families affected by COVID. It is clear to me that it is this ‘one city' approach which is helping us tackle the outbreak, and it's a ‘one-city' approach that will be needed to help us find our way back to normal life.

"Right now the city has been brought together and is working and fighting together to defeat this virus. This is what I mean by a ‘one city approach' - courageous public servants working together across the NHS, council, police and fire services; the extraordinary generosity of Cardiff citizens volunteering to help neighbours, or contributing financially to restock food banks; the dedication of key workers in retail, transport and logistics keeping us supplied with our everyday needs. It's this spirit of togetherness which is seeing us through, and which we must draw on still in the coming weeks and months.”

On 21 May, Cllr Thomas will tell elected members that the cabinet will adopt a “Restart, Recover and Renew” approach to leading Cardiff out of the COVID-19 crisis.

The three-stage process will involve:

  • Restart: Restarting and adapting a wide range of councils in the context of extended, stringent, social-distancing requirements
  • Recover: A strategic response to support the city to emerge from the crisis
  • Renew: Working closely with city partners, staff and citizens to set out the future for Cardiff post-crisis and how to make it happen.

Cllr Thomas said: "For some time we have been planning for lockdown measures being relaxed. We have done this work with key principles in mind. Services that are restarted will do so in a way that ensures the safety of staff and citizens. Those most vulnerable to the impact of the virus must be supported and protected. We will work with partners to restart the city economy and city life in a safe way, with a focus on halting the spread of the virus. Throughout we will be open and engaged, and ready to change our approach as we learn more.

"Work relating to economic recovery has commenced. Discussion has already begun with public service providers to develop a strategic response to support the city to emerge from the crisis. This engagement work will continue and, going forward, will involve all key partners, including the business community, in the days and weeks ahead.”

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