A test to see how an almost traffic-free Wind Street will benefit Swansea will begin on Monday Aug 3.
It will see vehicles allowed there only from 7am-11am every day and the street will remain one-way in the direction of Victoria Road. The six-month trial will give Wind Street businesses a slot for deliveries whilst allowing cafes and bars more chance to trade outside during the day and into the night.
There is already a streamlined process in place for such businesses to secure permission to create outdoor eating and drinking opportunities, and new grant funding is available for outdoor furniture.
The new Wind Street move is designed to boost the local economy and to encourage consumers to continue to head back into the City Centre – and to explore a new role the street could have in the City Centre’s ongoing multi-million pound regeneration.
The move is part of wider plans to help improve the Wind Street environment for residents, businesses and customers, and more than £2m will be invested in improvements with some early work starting there shortly, following further community engagement. In future there will be more emphasis on pedestrian priority to support businesses during the day and at night-time. The new scheme will see Wind Street have additional footway space and a narrower road, with both getting better surfaces. It will remain one-way to traffic.
There will be new public lighting, new pea lighting in trees, new street furniture and more green infrastructure. There’ll be more seated areas to create a more family-friendly environment. It will bring the street more in line with its original concept as a cafe quarter. Improved pedestrian areas encourage a broader mix of people into city centres. This would be a logical and a healthy step for Wind Street and it would complement the rest of Swansea City Centre on its regeneration journey.
A feasibility study carried out in partnership with Swansea Business Improvement District (BID) highlighted a number of options for how the street could look and operate in future; this was the basis on which the funding to improve the street was secured. The council plans to announce further details soon on how they will take forward the wider plan for Wind Street. It will work closely with the community on this.
To help facilitate the delivery of improvement works on Wind Street, an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order is to close the road to traffic daily from 11am until 7am is due to go live from Thursday, August 6. A separate traffic order will see the same closures from August 3-5 to allow businesses to react swiftly to any relaxation of the outdoor-only restrictions next week.
The experimental traffic order will be in place for six months at which point the council will evaluate its effects. Welsh Government regulations allow only outdoor eating and drinking now although indoor hospitality could be allowed from Monday. Social distancing guidelines still apply, customers must be at tables and customers are being urged to book ahead if that facility is offered.
Tags: hospitality, pedestrians, Swansea, Wind Street