The people of Cardiff are being asked to join a conversation about the big ideas that could shape the future of Cardiff’s transport system and the way the city could look and feel in the future.
Cardiff’s population is growing faster than any other major city outside London and an additional 72,000 people are expected to move here in the next 20 years. This growth is expected to bring significant cultural and economic benefits, but with 300 million trips already taken each year on the city’s transport network, it will also put additional pressure on the city’s road, rail, bus, walking and cycling facilities.
With this in mind the Council is launching a consultation with the people of Cardiff to share and gather ideas on how the city could change for the better.
The Council has also been legally directed by Welsh Government to undertake a feasibility study to identify options which would deliver legal compliance for air quality in the shortest possible time.
Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, Cllr Caro Wild, said:
“We all know that Cardiff’s transport system has to change – too many of us have been stuck in traffic trying to drop off our children, or late for work because the bus didn’t turn up, and whilst a growing number want to walk or cycle, the facilities to do so are often inadequate.
“But there’s an even more alarming health issue – that of air pollution. The latest figures from Public Health Wales suggest that the number of deaths per year that can be attributed to poor air quality has increased to over 225 across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, so improving the air we breathe has now become a matter of life or death.
“Like all major cities in the UK the effects of congestion are being felt on people’s health. Welsh Government has now directed us to carry out a Clean Air feasibility study which will identify the issues in Cardiff and make recommendations on the best way to resolve them.
“While work on the study gets underway we want to open a conversation with the public about how a cleaner and greener Cardiff might look. We have ambitious plans for Cardiff’s future and we believe all the ideas set out in this consultation paper are possible. But changing the way we move around the city could impact on all of us, that’s why we want as many people as possible to have their say on these ideas, so we can shape a stronger, healthier future together.”
The Transport & Clean Air Green Paper, titled ‘Changing How We Move Around A Growing City’ is made up of six themes, each with its own proposals based on good practice examples from cities across the world and from interested groups and individuals across Cardiff and beyond.
The themes and ideas are:
- The Future of The Metro & Buses
Big Ideas: realign the bus services network to create better connectivity between locations and modes of transport; integrated ticketing similar to London’s ‘Oyster Card’; and a zero-carbon bus fleet powered by electricity or hydrogen.
- Active Healthy City
Big Ideas: develop active-travel zones in the city centre and neighbourhoods where walking, cycling and non-motorised transport are prioritised; a comprehensive cycle superhighway and primary-route network; the introduction of a total city 20mph zone.
- Clean Air City
Big Ideas: clean air zones – areas where targeted action is taken to improve air quality in a way that improves health outcomes and supports economic growth; active-travel targets for the public sector and business; parking levies and charges so workplaces pay for each parking space provided.
- Business, Work and Culture
Big Ideas: creating a high-quality, city-centre environment; developing the south east corridor – in line with the new industrial strategy for the east of the city; accelerating plans for regional, park & rides.
- The Future of Cars
Big Ideas: encouraging growth in the number of zero-carbon vehicles in Cardiff; bring forward a comprehensive network of charging points; attracting and developing a wider range of car clubs encouraging people to choose mobility as a service.
- Smart City
Big Ideas: maximise digital, network/user Information; fully embed intelligent, street management to enable motorists to find parking easily and to direct traffic flows; investigate possible use of autonomous (self-driving) vehicles.
Cllr Wild, added:
“The consultation launches today and we really want to hear the public’s views.”
“Right now we want to begin the conversation. In the autumn the outcomes of the consultation will be used, alongside clearer direction from Welsh Government and any feasibility studies on air quality, outcomes from our Economy Green Paper, and discussions with the South Wales Metro operator, to inform the development of a White Paper on Transport and Clean Air, to be published in the autumn.”
“What is clear is that we can’t stand still. Cardiff is changing and growing and we have to find a way to manage that growth. Right now drivers spend an average of four working days a year stuck in traffic during peak periods and 90,000 commuters come in and out of Cardiff each day from outside the city. Traffic and congestion is the main contributor to air quality and it has an effect on everyone’s quality of life.”
“This is an opportunity to shape the future of Cardiff together, creating a healthier city for future generations. I hope as many people as possible join in the conversation.”
Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales said:
“Across the world progressive cities are recognising that they need to take action to shift away from heavy reliance on cars towards greener more sustainable transport solutions which are good for the environment, economy and our health.
“In line with their obligations under the Well-being of Future Generations Act it is quite right that Cardiff are identifying opportunities to reduce car use, promote active travel and reduce air pollution.
“Alongside this it’s encouraging that they are seeking ways to create the right environment for future investment by making sure Cardiff is an attractive and well connected city which is prepared to meet the changing technological demands of the future.
“There are some exciting opportunities in what is being proposed and I welcome Cardiff’s commitment to having this conversation with its citizens.”
Maria Battle Chair of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Vice Chair of the Public Service Board said:
“How we get from A to B has a huge impact on our health, the environment, and our communities. We are at a crucial moment – high levels of illness in our area are caused or made worse by how we travel and the air we breathe; but there are also once-in-a-generation opportunities open to us to solve this, with the development of the Metro in Cardiff and the surrounding region, and legislation requiring and enabling us to prevent future illnesses, improve the health of future generations, and improve air quality.
“We really welcome the publication of this Green Paper on such an important subject, and we are working closely with Cardiff Council and other partners on these issues. As one of the largest employers across Cardiff and the Vale and the key Health organisation we have a long term plan that supports more sustainable methods of transport for our staff, patients and visitors and this is based upon acting today for a healthier tomorrow.
“We urge residents to engage in this conversation on how we can all travel in a more healthy and sustainable way. Leaving the car at home and walking, cycling or taking public transport, helps get the heart pumping and can put a smile on your face rather than sitting in a dreaded traffic jam! If we get this right we will be healthier and happier, and Cardiff will be one of the best places in Europe to live, work and visit.”
The Transport & Clean Air Green Paper has been published on www.cardiff.gov.uk/transportgreenpaper and a series of questions have been asked in each section to get feedback from residents on the proposals and ideas before the consultation closes on 1st July.