Cardiff City Council has unveiled its ambitious £1bn vision for transport, including Cardiff Cross Rail, a new light rail line from east to west, connecting major population centres and new suburbs in the region.
Speaking at a Welsh government conference on Active Travel, council leader Huw Thomas told delegates that the time had come for action on the city's transport needs, warning that urgent investment is needed and that the city will ‘grind to a halt' if partner agencies don't come together to transform the way people move in and around Cardiff.
Thomas said: "Cardiff's transport network needs to change. It was originally designed for a city with a population of 200,000, but today our population is closer to 400,000 and there are another 80,000 commuters travelling into the city by car every day. That is why I am setting out a vision today for a greener, more sustainable city, a vision which could transform the way people move around our city by 2030.
"It is clear we won't deliver this overnight, but we are today bringing forward the council's aspiration while fully recognising that we will have to work effectively with Welsh government and other partners. We will also need to have a serious public conversation about how this vision can be funded."
The measures include:
- Cardiff Cross Rail - a new light rail/tram line from east to west connecting major population centres and new suburbs in the west with Cardiff Central;
- Cardiff Circle Line - a joined up complete orbital light rail/tram line linking large residential areas to the transport network;
- A new park and ride at junction 32 of the M4 connected to the Circle Line;
- A new Rapid Bus Transport Network using green and electric vehicles;
- New, safe cycleways and walking routes linked to bus, rail and tram networks;
- An integrated ticketing system allowing the user to move seamlessly from one transport mode to another;
- Making Cardiff a 20mph city.
Thomas said: “The Cardiff capital region is the country's economic engine, with Cardiff alone delivering 20,000 new jobs last year into the Welsh economy. The capital sums previously earmarked for the new M4 must now be invested in South East Wales. Our vision, alongside the delivery of the Metro, could fundamentally reshape the transport infrastructure in the city for the betterment of the whole region.”
Caro Wild, cabinet member for strategic planning and transport, said: "This vision represents some early ideas which have followed on from last year's transport and clean air green paper. It sets out our direction of travel. We will be bringing forward a white paper in the autumn with more plans for the city, but we were keen for the conversation to begin now."