MOTORISTS, cyclists, pedestrians, and businesses have started using a new two-way road system to a number of key roads in Swansea city centre. The change happened Sunday (July 26).
The £12m Kingsway Infrastructure Scheme has brought in more cross-town traffic options, expanded areas for those of foot and cycles – and a greener, more people-friendly environment for all to enjoy.
The switch took place on The Kingsway, Orchard Street, Christina Street, Mansel Street, De La Beche Street, Grove Place, Alexandra Road, and Belle Vue Way. Cradock St changed its one-way direction. The junction of Pleasant Street and Orchard Street closed.
Major effects included: All traffic travelling between the Dyfatty and Uplands areas using Alexandra Road and Mansel Street instead of The Kingsway as Uplands-direction traffic previously did; Less traffic on The Kingsway.
Traffic marshals are helping motorists through the change. Businesses, public transport operators, and residents have been kept up to date on the changes.
Other projects transforming the city centre for a post-austerity, post-pandemic UK – where the internet has changed the retail world forever – include the swiftly emerging £135m Swansea Central Phase One development complete with 3,500-capacity indoor arena, parkland, parking, and homes.
Also, more than 180 new trees are being introduced, doubling the number of trees in that area. Large grassy areas and many plants and shrubs are being introduced.
The aim is to create a city centre which is an irresistible location in which to live, work and spend quality free time, meaning more footfall and more business.
Council leader Rob Stewart said: “I thank all those who used this improved new road system considerately on day one.
“By planning ahead and getting to know the new traffic flows they helped the whole city take an important step into a prosperous future.
“I ask that further care is now taken as the new system beds in; it’s important that we all take some time – using the map we have published – to plot our routes into and around our city centre.
“We’re publicising the change widely so it can settle in efficiently – residents can look out for our #KingswayTwoWay hashtag online.
“I thank local residents and businesses for the understanding they continue to show during this improvement process.
“Today is a big step forward but is not the end of the works.
“There remain some elements of the pedestrian areas to complete, including further landscaping and planting, the laying of some walkway surfaces, and the addition of cycle route markers.
“There are also some snagging works consistent with a project of this scale. These are from the work’s Dawnus phase and will be rectified.”
There has been positive early feedback from pedestrians and businesses. On the roads involved in this scheme, there will be a 20% increase in the area set aside for dedicated disabled daytime parking bays than in the recent past.
Georgios Parphenidis, director of the Acropolis Greek restaurant on The Kingsway, said: “As a business, we’re very happy with this change.
“The Kingsway now looks really nice and people should be safe to walk as drivers will be moving at modest speeds.
“With a greater choice of routes, it means that the restaurant is now easier to get to – so that’s good for our customers and our delivery drivers.
“The effect of more two-way roads also means that the restaurant’s frontage is a lot more visible than it used to be; there are more cars heading in our direction rather than away from it.”
Simona Adamova, the owner of the Stokrotka Polish Shop in Mansel Street, said: “The new road system – now two-way outside the shop – is an important improvement.
“It’ll make it easier for people to visit us and will be great for me as I no longer need to go around the one-way system when I’m out and about on business.”
The Kingsway scheme has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. Funders for some other elements of Swansea’s regeneration include the Swansea Bay City Deal.