Page last updated at 13:52 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Cardiff city centre to get major upgrade

An artist's impression of the pedestrian-friendly streets
An artist's impression of the pedestrian-friendly streets in Cardiff

Work is due to start on a new "pedestrian-friendly" upgrade of part of Cardiff city centre.

The first phase from the top of High Street to Church Street - at the top of St Mary Street - begins on Monday and will be completed in the summer.

The existing surface will be ripped up and a new drainage put in before the new paving and surfaces are laid.

Cardiff council said it wanted to create a "better place to live, work, shop and to visit".

It said another of its aims was to reduce traffic, air pollution and noise levels.

Councillor Delme Bowen, executive member for traffic and transportation, said: "I am delighted that work is beginning on this scheme which will transform High Street.

The improvements will provide an original and exciting contrast to the other changes taking place in the rest of the city centre
Councillor Delme Bowen

"The improvements will provide an original and exciting contrast to the other changes taking place in the rest of the city centre.

"High Street's unique mix of independent shops, banks, restaurants and professional services is an important part of its appeal, and the scheme will strengthen connections between the arcades and Cardiff Castle, creating a safe, attractive, distinctive and high quality environment for pedestrians."

Nick Griffith of Curzon Real Estate Partners Limited, who own three of the city's Victorian Arcades - Wyndam, High Street and Duke Street - said he was confident the new scheme will help maximise the potential of the arcades.

He said: "Having seen the plans and illustrations of what is proposed, I am extremely impressed by the design and quality of materials being used to implement this important pedestrianisation and regeneration project."

The council said disability groups had also given their backing to the scheme.

Disruption will be kept to a minimum by carrying out some of the works during off peak periods such as evenings and early mornings, said the council.



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