The first phase of Cardiff Crossrail is set to go ahead following an award of £50 million to Cardiff Council from the government's Levelling Up Fund and match funding of a further £50m from the Welsh Government.
The funding will enable the construction of a new rapid transport link from Cardiff Central to Cardiff Bay via Callaghan Square, and provide a vital transport link to support the development of the Callaghan Square, Bute Street, Lloyd George Avenue, and the Atlantic Wharf masterplan. The first phase of the development will also extend to Pierhead Street and include a new Transport Hub that links in with the Atlantic Wharf masterplan.
Included in the plan are:
- a regular tram service from Cardiff Central to a new platform at Cardiff Bay railway station;
- two new platforms at Cardiff Central railway station;
- improvements to the environment around the existing and new station platforms;
- a new highway layout that provides a safe separation between road, rail, cyclists and pedestrians;
The investment will also provide a boost for the wider Crossrail scheme so that it will link up with the proposed Cardiff Parkway Station at St. Mellons in the east of the city and provide opportunities for some new stations to be opened in the area.
Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said “The announcement of this funding package is a ringing endorsement of our plans to regenerate Cardiff Bay and Atlantic Wharf. This new route will finally see Butetown properly connected to the city centre via Cardiff Central.
“It will not only serve visitors to the Bay and to the new Cardiff Arena, but it will also begin to make real the Council's ambitions for a Crossrail tram service which will run from the northwest of the city all the way to the east of the city connecting with the proposed Parkway station.
“We look forward to working with UK Government and Welsh Government – which is match-funding the Levelling Up contribution – to deliver the scheme at pace.”
Cllr Dan De'Ath, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport said: “This is excellent news, as this funding will deliver the first phase of the Crossrail to provide an invaluable tram service connecting Cardiff Central with Cardiff Bay.
“Once the first phase is delivered, this route can easily be extended to the east or south, including the HMS Cambria site, providing a new reliable and affordable transport route for the public to use.”
Cllr Huw Thomas added: “The Council has set out ambitious plans on how we are investing in Cardiff Bay with the delivery of a new 15,000-seater indoor arena and the Atlantic Wharf Masterplan, which earmarks new housing, office space, hotels and 50,000 sq m of retail, leisure and cultural space.
“In Cardiff Bay, there are 200 hectares of unused brownfield land for development, but when the Crossrail is extended, this land will start to be unlocked, allowing further investment and growth to take place in both Cardiff Bay and Cardiff East.
“The Crossrail has been a long-held ambition for some time, to provide a cross-city tram service that is affordable and reliable for the public to use, and connecting some of Cardiff's poorest communities to the rail network for the first time.
“The first phase will significantly improve public transport from the city centre to Cardiff Bay, providing further capacity for residents and visitors to access the wide range of attractions that Cardiff has to offer.”