Swansea CC has agreed to modify one of its roads after a spate of incidents including two fatalities prompted criticism from a coroner.
The city’s cabinet has agreed to introduce an experimental Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), which prohibits vehicles from travelling eastwards along The Kingsway.
The Kingsway road layout questioned by the coroner
Last week, coroner Colin Phillips urged the authority to amend the road layout as he prepared for the inquest of a man who died in 2013 after being hit by a coach in the busy city-centre thoroughfare. An off-duty police officer also died last month after being hit by a bus in Kingsway.
The street has a carriageway for westbound general traffic and a bi-directional carriageway for buses and taxis. Temporary barriers were installed along the central reservation last week, to direct pedestrians towards recognised crossing points.
Rob Stewart, leader of the Swansea CC, said the Kingsway TRO would be introduced as soon as possible.
‘The purpose of the experimental TRO is to see and monitor the effects of diverting metro, bus and taxis services and to look at what changes to the road network might be necessary if we were to close Kingsway to eastbound traffic permanently,’ he said.
‘As the city centre redevelopment gathers pace, new road layouts and traffic flows will be required - we will attempt to keep any disruption to a minimum. We will be attempting to create an environment that puts pedestrians at the heart of our new city, while making it easy for people to get in, out and around the area.’
Talks have started with bus operators about other routes for eastbound vehicles.
Gary Rae, campaigns manager for road safety charity Brake, said: ‘There appears to be a failure of road design in the Swansea case and we echo the calls of the coroner for urgent changes to be made.
‘When designing street layouts, councils must take into account the needs of all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists. Our roads are shared spaces and this should be better reflected in planning and design process.’