Swansea Council’s £12m programme to transform a key city centre area is due to get back underway on Monday, January 7.
The Kingsway was cleared of construction activity to help shoppers and traders during the Christmas period.
Next week, contractors will be back on site. Shops and other premises will remain accessible.
Council leader Rob Stewart said: “I’m glad that we were able to help shoppers and traders enjoy the festive season by clearing the roadworks for seven weeks; now the work starts again so we can complete the transformation this autumn.
“The Kingsway’s transformation into a people-friendly destination will pave the way for the creation of hundreds of jobs and a green artery for the city.
“It’s the first step in the transformation of our city and will benefit generations to come.”
The Kingsway is being transformed into a city park, incorporating new public areas, with much green space, street trees and enhanced pedestrian and cycling routes. Later this year the existing two-lane one-way vehicle route will become two-way on The Kingsway and Orchard Street, with some neighbouring streets also becoming two-way.
Three zebra crossings on the carriageway now give pedestrians priority when they enter the crossing. The crossings are marked by flashing Belisha beacons – and the council has put up additional signage informing motorists that the crossings are in place. The speed limit is – and will remain – 20mph.
This year’s construction work will include the creation of the new public spaces, including a new “pocket park” at the top of Princess Way, with around 200 trees being planted over the life of the Kingsway project.
This major tree planting operation, in the latter stages of the project, will result in increased biodiversity and a net increase in the number of trees.
The scheme also includes changes to Orchard Street, Alexandra Road, Christina Street, Grove Place, Alexandra Road and Craddock Street.
Cllr Mark Thomas, cabinet member for environment and infrastructure management, said: “We continually review all works in liaison with the public, traders, contractors and other stakeholders such as utilities companies – and that engagement activity will go on.
“We thank the public and businesses for their patience during this period of transformation. We can already see improvements to the shape of The Kingsway and we plan a digital village office development on the former Oceana site, with a new pedestrian link through to Oxford Street. A great deal of new city centre accommodation is being created nearby – and work is due to start soon on Swansea Central Phase One, including our 3,500-seat digital arena.”
Russell Greenslade, chief executive of Swansea Business Improvement District (BID), said:”Christmas and the run-up to the festive season is such an important trading time for our city centre businesses and it is important, for the continued vibrancy of the area, that we do all we can to support its activities.
“So it was fitting that the important regeneration work was paused, to allow for normal trading activities to continue.
“I know our Swansea BID Businesses are looking forward to welcoming the positive changes that the regeneration will enact upon our city centre and to enjoying its long-term benefits.”
The Kingsway Infrastructure Project includes £4.5 million of WEFO funding.
The digital village is due to be part-funded by the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal – an investment in 11 major projects across the Swansea Bay City Region, subject to the approval of business cases, with funding from the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector.
The Range’s Swansea Store Shortlisted for ‘Best Christmas Display’
Christmas has arrived early for The Range stores in Wales, boasting gigantic displays of all-things festive! The Range is well known for going all out during the Christmas season to create a fun and magical experience full of trees, lights, decorations and much more for their customers to enjoy and this year is no exception. The Range in Swansea surpassed expectations with a display so great, it’s left them shortlisted for ‘Best Christmas Display’ out of all The Range’s 182 stores.
Local coronavirus restrictions imposed to control outbreaks in South Wales
Coronavirus laws are being tightened in four more Welsh authorities – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport – following a sharp rise in cases, Health Minister Vaughan Gething today announced.
The new measures will come into force at 6pm on Tuesday 22 September 2020, to protect people’s health and control the spread of the virus in the four local authority areas.
The new restrictions will apply to everyone living in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport:
People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;
People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households;
All licensed premises will have to close at 11pm;
Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public areas – as is the case across Wales.
From 6pm on Tuesday 22 September, the requirement for all licensed premises to close at 11pm will also be extended to Caerphilly borough.
Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:
“Following the decision to place additional coronavirus restrictions in place in Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf, we have seen a worrying and rapid rise in cases in four other south Wales council areas – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport.
“In many cases, this is linked to people socialising indoors without social distancing. We are seeing evidence of coronavirus spreading. We need to take action to control and, ultimately, reduce its spread and protect people’s health.
“It’s always a difficult decision to introduce restrictions but coronavirus has not gone away – it is still circulating in communities across Wales and, as we are seeing in parts of South Wales, small clusters can quickly cause real issues in local communities.
“We need everyone’s help to bring coronavirus under control. We need everyone to pull together and to follow the measures which are there to protect you and your loved ones.”
The restrictions are being introduced following a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases in coronavirus, which have been linked to people meeting indoors, not following social distancing guidelines and returning from summer holidays overseas.
The Welsh Government will call an urgent meeting of all local authority, health board and police forces from Bridgend to the English border tomorrow to discuss the wider situation in South Wales and whether further measures are needed across the region to protect people’s health.
The new local restrictions measures will be kept under regular review. They will be enforced by local authorities and by the police.
Keep Wales safe by:
Always keeping your distance
Washing your hands regularly
Working from home wherever you can
Following any local restrictions
Following the rules about meeting people
Staying at home if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms.
Welsh legislation will restrict those travelling from hotspot areas
MARK Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, has today announced legislation which will restrict those coming from coronavirus hotspot’s from travelling to Wales.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has refused to impose rules which prohibit those from areas where the infection rate is high from entering low virus rate areas’s.
Mr Drakeford has made two requests to the Prime Minister requesting to impose rules which will mean those from high virus areas in England be prohibited from travelling to Wales, a request which has been denied by Mr Johnson.
The powers set by Mr Drakeford will come into force by the end of the week, unless Boris Johnson takes action sooner.
Speaking at the Plenary today, Mr Drakeford made the announcement, stating if Mr Johnson does not reply to his request by Friday then The Welsh Government will bring in legislation to restrict travel from those in English lockdown areas travelling to Wales.
Mr Drakeford said this was not a case of all those from England being restricted travel to Wales, just hotspot areas.
He said: “Evidence from public health professionals suggests coronavirus is moving from east to west across the UK and across Wales. As a general rule, it is concentrating in urban areas and then spreading to more sparsely populated areas as a result of people travelling.
“Much of Wales in now subject to local restriction measures because levels of the virus have risen and people living in those areas are not able to travel beyond their county boundary without a reasonable excuse. This is designed to prevent the spread of infection within Wales and to other areas of the UK.
“We are preparing to take this action to prevent people who live in areas where there are higher Covid infection rates across the UK from travelling to Wales and bringing the virus with them.
“I am determined to keep Wales safe.”
The legislation, which is understood to come into force Friday, October 16 at 6pm, will mean those travelling to Wales from areas of England which are classed as virus hotspot’s will be restricted.
The new legislation also restricts those travelling into Wales from high virus prevalence areas from Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament – Paul Davies MS – has rounded on the First Minister over a ban on people entering Wales from England, and the Labour Party’s inability or unwillingness to publish comprehensive data proving that transmission rates are accelerating due to travel.
Mr Davies took the First Minister to task during Plenary today (October 14), and referred to a statement made by the leader of the Labour Party on September 23 when he said that the Welsh Government was not seeing any spikes at all in infection due to travel and tourism.
Mr Davies said that the people of Wales deserve to have sight of the data that underpins the Welsh Labour-led Government’s position on this matter, so that they can be confident that the Government’s actions are proportionate to the threat of the virus in their area.
Mr Davies also referred to a paper that accompanied the First Minister’s letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, a paper – that was not peer-reviewed – that confirms the data “…does not constitute definitive proof” in favour of a travel ban.
Mr Davies said: “The First Minister and his Government have acted rashly and without examining a range of other factors before a conclusion on whether to impose a travel ban or not is reached, while at the same time seemingly ignoring the fact that transmission rates in relation to travel had already peaked in August and September.
“It is incumbent on the First Minister to explain just why he has chosen to act in this way, and what supporting evidence he and his Ministers have seen to justify a ban and then publish it so it can be properly scrutinised.
“If he cannot or will not, then he must review and rescind this ban immediately.”
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