public realm

A TREE-LINED urban park is set to be created along The Kingsway.

Details of a £10 million redevelopment plan were today unveiled for one of Swansea's main transport routes.

The council's ambitious redevelopment of The Kingsway will see what is being billed as the city's 'Central Park' take its place alongside two lanes of traffic rather than the current four, with buses sharing the same lanes as cars.

The authority's new vision follows the fallout from the ill-fated bendy bus scheme, which was launched in 2009.

It meant one-way traffic in one direction and two-way in the other direction, prompting safety concerns.

In September 2013, 37-year-old hotel worker Daniel Foss died after being struck by a coach there and in April 2015 off-duty police sergeant Louise Lucas died after a collision with a bus, while her eight-year-old daughter suffered minor injuries.

Later that year the system was changed to its current system which has all vehicles travelling in the same westerly direction.

And tomorrow a public consultation will begin on the revamp, which will remove the existing two lanes of traffic on the northern side of the road to help create a new urban park.

The proposed new layout will see the current bus lane removed to allow traffic to travel in both directions on the southern side of the carriageway. Work is expected to start along the route later this year, once full approval has been given.

The redevelopment of The Kingsway will also include the introduction of two-way traffic along surrounding roads including, Alexandra Road, Mansel Street, Orchard Street, De La Beche Street and Belle Vue Way.

David Hopkins, cabinet member for environment and transportation, said: "The Kingsway is a route that has often been seen to split the city centre in two because of the large volumes of traffic using it.

"Moving traffic around city centre roads is a complex job and it's one we are keen to improve so we can keep the city on the move.

"The regeneration plans for The Kingsway focus more heavily on pedestrians and making the route a destination for shoppers and city centre workers.

The Craddock Street and Union Street junction of The Kingsway under the redevelopment plan.

"Introducing two-way traffic along The Kingsway and surrounding roads will help us achieve more efficient traffic flows and cut journey times. We want to hear from the public now ahead of the redevelopment to find out what they think."

The redevelopment will also support the council's broader vision for The Kingsway and the city centre.

Leader, councillor Rob Stewart, said: "Our plan is to develop an employment district on The Kingsway, so a significant improvement in the area's look and feel is vital if we're to attract major employers there and create thousands of new jobs for local people.

"The transformation of The Kingsway and the creation of a new 'Central Park' in the heart of the city supports our regeneration plans and our ambitions to create a greener, more welcoming city centre with more visitors and shoppers, helping support our existing businesses and attract more to investment in Swansea in the future.

"Together with plans for the Castle Gardens, St David's and Civic Centre development sites, these proposals will transform the city centre's retail, business, leisure and recreational offer."