Demands for Cardiff Bay link road construction

August 2, 2011 3 Comments »
Demands for Cardiff Bay link road construction

Civic leaders at Cardiff council have called on the Welsh Government to finally complete a ring road to ease traffic congestion.

The Eastern Bay link road, from east Cardiff to the Bay, would effectively complete a circular dual-carriageway system all the way round the capital when added to the M4 to the north and the existing A4232 Ely link road to the southwest.

Plaid councillors Neil McEvoy and Lisa Ford – in charge of economic development and transport respectively – said the project was vital for the growth of Cardiff. But a transport expert said funding for public transport schemes to get more people out of their cars must be the priority.

The 3.4-mile Eastern Bay link road, long seen as the missing link in the capital’s road network, would connect the Ely link road to the Lamby Way/Rover Way roundabout and run along the coastline, cutting congestion in areas like Newport Road.

Coun McEvoy, deputy leader of the council, said: “My ambition is for Cardiff to be a connected business location that can attract multinational companies and drive prosperity in Wales. Completing the Eastern Bay link would really open up the city, create stronger links to the east and allow Cardiff businesses to connect to Bristol, London and the M4 corridor. The economic impact would be vast.”

Coun Ford added: “Countless studies have identified the daily commute as one of the key factors in levels of people’s happiness. Currently too many of us travelling in from the east are sat in traffic for hours each week. Compare this to the stress-free commute from the west.”

Costings suggest the scheme would cost several hundred million pounds. It was previously suggested it could be funded through a private public partnership or as a toll road. But Coun McEvoy cited a 2008 study which said that for every pound spent on the road the Cardiff economy would make £2.82 back through increased economic competitiveness.

“That represents good value for money and I believe that the Eastern Bay link is potentially the most important road in Wales,” Coun McEvoy said. “Through investing in less than 6km of road we could create a connected capital city, enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Cardiff and strengthen Cardiff’s ability to deliver economic renewal in Wales.”

But Professor Stuart Cole, from the Wales Transport Research Centre at the University of Glamorgan, said the link road should be “way down” on the list of priorities. Instead, he said, the Welsh Government and Cardiff council should concentrate on capitalising on the electrification of the Great Western main line.

“What the Eastern Bay link road did in its original form was to take east to west traffic out of Cardiff and into the Bay,” he said. “Now we have got the opportunity of electrification we should concentrate on that, as it will take the traffic off the road and on to public transport.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said the link was not included in the National Transport Plan and was unlikely to be included in the rescheduled delivery plan due in the autumn.

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  1. Ian Perry August 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Would Neil McEvoy and Lisa Ford please put forward a case study of a ring road that reduced congestion… As far as I know, ring roads encourage car ownership and use and result in more congestion. Beijing has SEVEN ring roads and yet remains grid-locked! Paris, Copenhagen and New York have closed major roads, reducing road congestion and commute times and costs in the process.

    It would appear that Cllr. Ford has not driven from the Ely Link road into Canton along Lechwith Road, past the Cardiff City stadium… those of us in the west also get stuck in grid lock – even if this is designed in by the councils obsession with traffic signals – for which there seems to be endless money.

    Cardiff Council does not appear to have the money to maintain its existing roads, including Wood Street at the heart of the city, so building more roads would seem to be financially unwise. Investing in rail and light rail would potentially reduce the costs of road maintenance and reduce the money going out of the city to purchase oil to burn…. whilst improving health.

  2. dadarse August 15, 2011 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Electrification of the mainline will have no impact on traffic – most of the traffic is local and not coming from London. We need this final link in the ring road to be completed to take pressure of newport road and surrounds. People will not move to expensive, inflexible and unsuitable public transport just because some professor form a public transport pressure group says they should. there is a role for the private car, which will continue for the foreseeable future.

  3. KLR February 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    How will Electrification of the mainline help congestion in the east (or even west) of the city? It will not reduce internal city traffic as the mainline does not serve the cities internal stations. Only a reduction of commuter traffic form newport bridgend etc could possibly be seen as a benefit.

    The East of our city has no effective rail network at all, with not a single local station it is entirely dependent on a disconnected and substandard road network, the delay on this project is costing Cardiff businesses money and in turn costing Cardiff residents jobs.

    Yes in an ideal Cardiff we would all hop on a train to get to work every day powered by sustainably produced electricity but unless the council has plans (& space) to build a new rail network. We have to improve our road networks and vehicles to improve efficiency and emissions

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