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Kingsway to be clear for Christmas

Swansea shoppers looking for great gift ideas will have the boost of a clear Kingsway this Christmas.

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Roadworks that are transforming the city centre main road with a £12m regeneration programme will be cleared of construction apparatus for around two months.

Access will be safe for pedestrians, motorists, public transport and commercial traffic.

Mark Thomas, Swansea Council's cabinet member for environment and infrastructure management, said: "Make no bones about it: Swansea will be open for Christmas!

"The city centre will be as accessible as possible, with The Kingsway being an obstacle-free route to and from our wonderful local shops and business. Orchard Street will also have far fewer obstacles.

"As everybody knows, the Kingsway infrastructure project is a substantial, complex project; it's right that we plan and communicate well ahead for everybody who wants to enjoy a busy festive period in our city centre."

Russell Greenslade, chief executive of Swansea Business Improvement District (BID) which represents more than 870 businesses, said: "Shoppers and traders will be delighted to have a Kingsway free of roadworks for this crucial part of the year.

"We have been working hard with the local authority to ensure the area is clear before we hit peak trade season for our businesses. 

"The city centre has a great mix of local and national retail, leisure and food and drink offerings and they're eager to offer residents and visitors a great Christmas. We encourage shoppers to support our city centre businesses; they employ thousands of people who, in turn, support the communities they live in."

Richard Jones, of Kingsway fashion retailer Moda, said: "Businesses in and around The Kingsway have so much to offer that I'm pleased this main road will be fully accessible from late November into the new year.

"I'm excited about the future of the Kingsway area, with its new, greater focus on pedestrians, and although I understand that the roadworks are a necessity it'll be good that the area will be cleared for Christmas."

The Kingsway is being transformed into a city park, incorporating new public areas, landscaped park land and cycle tracks. From next year there will be a two-lane two-way vehicle route and significantly widened pedestrian walkways.

The council has agreed with contractors Dawnus that the Kingsway's new road surface - the south side of the street - will be finished by November 11. Over Christmas, motorists will use this on a one-way basis whilst pedestrians will have full access to the roadways in use now.

The change to two-way traffic will take place next year along with improvement work on the extensive new pedestrian area.

Cllr Thomas said: "Some businesses expressed a preference for a post-Christmas switch to two-way traffic, keeping it one-way in through the festive period.

"We'll honour that; it will mean there's no new road system for motorists to take on board in the city's busiest shopping period. The switch to two-way will take place in 2019 after consultation with the contractor and respecting major events and holidays.

"The whole Kingsway scheme - including improvements to Orchard Street, Alexandra Road, Christina Street, Grove Place, Alexandra Road and Craddock Street and extensive greenery - is on target for a 2019 completion.

"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."

Roadworks will be suspended on The Kingsway from November 18-January 6.


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