The Labour-led Swansea Council administration is getting ready for an overnight course of work which will switch eight key roads from one-way traffic to two-way – a situation they insist needed to happen.
The dramatic improvement, being planned and managed by Council towards the end of July, will mean that the £12m Kingsway Infrastructure Project will be closer to completion.
Corresponding work is seeing the carriageways resurfaced at night.
Swansea Labour leader Cllr Rob Stewart admitted that he knows people have been frustrated with further works on the Kingsway, but insisted the situation under the Liberal Democrat regime needed correcting.
“We could not leave the disastrous Kingsway scheme put in by the Lib Dems and Independent coalition which ran Swansea between 2004-2012,” he said.
“The costly redesign of the Kingsway by the Lib Dems to accommodate their high-polluting Bendy bus Scheme, damaged many businesses and turned the city centre traffic system into a one way mess.
“We have corrected that bringing a much nicer, greener healthier environment, which is attesting businesses to the area.”
The Council leader added: “The major overnight operation to make The Kingsway area largely two-way is due to take place – weather and other circumstances permitting – on the Saturday night/Sunday morning of July 25/26.
“Council project staff and contractors will work through the night to minimise disruption for the public and business.
“We’ll publicise the work programme widely and in good time so it can take place safely and efficiently – and so road users know about the new layout before they enter the city centre in ensuing days.
“Residents can look out for our #KingswayTwoWay hashtag on social media. I encourage motorists to make use of our map for driving through Swansea city centre from July 26; it’s available for download now, we’re emailing it to businesses and posting it on noticeboards around The Kingsway. I also urge pedestrians and cyclists to familiarise themselves with the new traffic flows.
“The switch to two-way traffic will allow more direct journeys across the city and help reduce traffic on The Kingsway.
“The Kingsway area’s extra greenery and pedestrian areas – along with the improved traffic flow – will help make the city centre a better place in which to live, work, shop and do business.
“I thank the public for the understanding they’ve shown so far during this improvement process and for the forthcoming significant work and change to two-way traffic.”
The two-way switch – overnight from 6.00pm on Saturday, July 25, to 9.00am on Sunday, July 26 – will take place on The Kingsway, Orchard Street, Christina Street, Mansel Street, De La Beche Street, Grove Place, Alexandra Road and Belle Vue Way. Craddock St will change its one-way direction. The junction of Pleasant Street and Orchard Street will close.
Road closures and diversions will be publicised and signposted. Traffic marshals will be on duty to help motorists through the work and the changes.
Businesses, public transport operators and residents are being kept up to date on the changes.
Cllr Stewart added: “There’ll be access at all times through the work for emergency vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. We thank everybody for their understanding as the changes take place.”
The Kingsway scheme has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. Funders for some other elements of Swansea’s regeneration include the Swansea Bay City Deal.
The overnight two-way switch operation was originally due to take place in early April. It was rescheduled due to the pandemic.