Forget being stuck in traffic snarl-ups during rush hour – a proposed new bus route could offer some of the most spectacular views in South Wales.
A study has been launched into whether travel times could be slashed between Cardiff city centre and Penarth – by operating a bus service across the Cardiff Bay barrage.
The South East Wales Transport Alliance (SEWTA), an alliance of local councils, is carrying out the £15,000 feasibility study, which will report back in the summer.
The bus could potentially operate from Cardiff central station into the Bay, before passing the Porth Teigr development and Associated British Ports (ABP) docks.
On crossing the barrage, it is envisaged the bus could pass Penarth marina and continue into the town centre. However, the route has yet to be defined.
Cardiff’s transport boss said he was “very keen” on the idea and he hoped the barrage bus could ease the heavy traffic congestion between the Bay and Penarth.
Councillor Ralph Cook said: “We have major congestion on that side of the city coming in from the Vale and if we had a bus route available I think that would really assist lots of people in that area.
“It would reduce the congestion and be a very fast route in terms of getting into the city.”
Asked whether residents would really want to share the barrage, one of the region’s most popular walking routes, with a bus, he replied: “I think it would be welcomed.
“But yes, it would probably change the nature of people’s experience down there and that’s part of the whole issue.
“That’s why I would like to explore whether this is the right way forward and is the balance between enjoying the Bay as a resource for leisure and tourism disturbed by providing this kind of bus service? Of course the other thing is, will these be diesel buses or some kind of electric bus?
“If it was a bus that looked liked a tram and was virtually silent that would change the nature of the whole beast.”
A Cardiff council spokeswoman said: “The study will be an investigation of the feasibility of providing a bus route across the barrage between Penarth and Cardiff Bay/city centre.
“We will be working with SEWTA and the Vale of Glamorgan council on the project over the next few months.”
Vale of Glamorgan council yesterday failed to respond to requests for a comment.