Will a new bus-tram system for Cardiff help the arts?
As Artzine Cardiff has established, this city benefits from a plethora of arts venues for its local population to enjoy. However, since Cardiff Bay’s redevelopment in the late 90s, there has been little effort to improve transport links between The Bay and the city centre beyond an expensive “bendy-bus” service. Subsequently, access to the Bay and its world-class theatre, the Wales Millennium Centre, has been a source of contention.
However, WalesOnline has recently revealed that Cardiff council plans to bid for £30 million of funding from the Welsh Assembly Government to subsidise the construction of a continental style tram-bus system. This new transport system would link Cardiff Bay with the University Hospital Wales (UHW), through the city centre.
If the bid succeeds, Cardiff council hopes to complete the tram-bus route within three years.
This new system could lead to a more geographically cohesive Cardiff, with access to and from different areas of the city becoming easier and less expensive.
These solutions to the city’s traffic woes could potentially encourage more people to visit places that are deemed relatively inaccessible at present, such as the Wales Millennium Centre. If the city’s residents are given the opportunity to become more mobile, and are offered a more attractive way of passing through the city, then transport would be less of an obstacle for people to overcome when choosing to visit an arts venue.
Perhaps a fully integrated bus-tram system would also encourage investors from outside Cardiff to come in and introduce more theatres, music-venues and galleries, confident that the infrastructure is in place to support people’s movement to and from a venue.