Well have you ever heard of a scheme to pedestranise not being successful? However the echo has a question- has st mary st pedestranisation been a sucess? YESGive us a chance ....hardly finished yet!
Dec 10 2007 by Phillip Nifield, South Wales Echo
TAX-PAYERS have forked out almost £600,000 on the controversial trial traffic shake-up in Cardiff’s St Mary Street, it has been revealed.
Figures released by Cardiff council show that an initial £400,000 was initially spent on changes which led to the banning of private vehicles from the street in August.
Since October another £180,000 has been forked out to alter the two-way traffic system, which has included removing a concrete barrier in part of the street and giving more room to pedestrians.
If the part-pedestrian scheme is made permanent, the final £3.25m bill to transform the environment of the street will come from Welsh Assembly Government and council funds.
This will include putting trees, shrubs and seating in the street and extending pavements permanently, opening the way for street cafes.
The details of the bill were released just three days before Councillor Elgan Morgan, the Liberal Democrats’ executive member for transport, faces a no confidence motion from Labour over the handling of his portfolio, including the St Mary Street experiment.
Cardiff’s council executive is to be given a detailed report early in January on the St Mary Street scheme. This will include recommendations on whether to open the lower end of the street to restore the link between the city centre and Cardiff Bay.
John Adams, of Ashtons fishmonger’s in Cardiff Market, attacked the cost, declaring: “We all assumed that the experiment was going to be a simple low-cost one. The figure of £580,000 is nothing more than gross extravagance of ratepayers’ money.”
John Munton, deputy chairman of Cardiff East Neighbourhood Watch, said he was concerned about the amount of traffic congestion on the reduced lanes.
“My concern is that in the event of an emergency it could be difficult for an ambulance to get through St Mary Street.”
But support for the scheme came from Julie Eynon, of Canton, who said: “I love the changes in St Mary Street. There has been a big improvement in the street for pedestrians and it is easier to cross the road.”
Cardiff council said much of the money spent so far would not be abortive whether the scheme was made permanent or not. Much of the work, such as road signs, would be recycled.
A council spokeswoman added: “The St Mary Street and High Street improvement works are experimental and have required the council to seek the views of the public and key stakeholders on the various options for moving forward. Often these differ and as a result different areas of the scheme are altered as an experiment, to see if such changes could become features if the permanent scheme goes ahead.”