Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 12:21 UK

Pedestrians only for city street

St Mary Street signs
St Mary Street has been closed to general traffic since August 2007

One of Cardiff's busiest streets will be fully pedestrianised by early 2010.

The traffic using St Mary Street has been restricted since August 2007 in a bid to cut pollution and noise.

The council is also introducing a bike scheme next month where the public can hire and ride bikes throughout the city centre, Cathays and Cardiff Bay.

An 18-month trial to allow cycling on Queen Street between 4pm and 10am ends on 18 August and will be reviewed following objections, said the council.

South Wales Police and disabled groups in particular raised "considerable opposition" to the trial, said a spokesman for Cardiff council.

"The re-assessment of cycling in vehicle restricted areas will include the use of Queen Street and will incorporate a series of workshops later in the year," he said.

"Police chiefs, retailers and disabled and cycling groups will all be invited to give their views and discuss a mutually acceptable way forward."

With a series of major pedestrian improvements now underway we are working to ensure cyclists can be properly accommodated right across the city centre
Councillor Delme Bowen

St Mary Street has been open to buses, taxis, cyclists and emergency vehicles only since 2007.

Its pedestrianisation and the other schemes are part of £28.5m plans to reduce congestion and improve travel by foot, bike and public transport.

Cardiff's Sustainable Travel City Scheme will be phased in up to and including 2011 and will be added to over the next five years.

The bike scheme, which is due to be run in Cardiff as a commercial venture by OYBike, is similar to a successful project in Paris and is set to begin on 22 September.

Blocks of bikes will be stationed in and around the city centre and once a bike is finished with it can be returned to any of the available stands.

Student population

There will be 75 bikes in 35 stands in all. The first phase will be mainly see them positioned in the city centre and Cardiff Bay before they are rolled out further afield including to Cathays, where it will be aimed at the student population.

The plans also encompass the Pont y Werin pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Ely which will open in 2010.

It will link the International Sports Village with Penarth.

Delme Bowen, the council's executive member for transport, said: "Cycling is at the heart of our sustainable travel scheme and we are committed to encouraging people to think about using bikes.

"With a series of major pedestrian improvements now underway we are working to ensure cyclists can be properly accommodated right across the city centre."

A new network of bus stands will also be built and a park and ride service from Pentwyn will be introduced as the new St David's 2 shopping centre is opened in September.

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