Frequently asked questions about Wind Street
Find out answers to the most common questions we get asked about Wind Street.
Why is Wind Street being largely pedestrianised - and why is the access for service vehicles reducing?
The key reason is to improve the local economy. Wind Street is a significant driver of Swansea's night-time economy but it also has great potential for more daytime trade. This would encourage a thriving economy and will benefit from reduced traffic and reduced pollution which will also benefit street users and local residents. The decision to reduce the service cut-off from noon to 11am has been arrived at following representation with business operators.
How can businesses get deliveries?
Businesses can arrange for road deliveries to take place 7.00am - 11.00am. In the established Oxford Street pedestrian zone, suppliers often use trolleys and this practice has been in place for many years without detriment to businesses.
How will online retailers get their goods to local residents when they're delivering?
Those who order online should tell the retailer about the access restrictions. The order forms of most online retailers carry a box in which customers can advise on matters such as access limitations. For larger items, many logistic companies use trolleys as a matter of course for deliveries.
I'm a delivery driver for a takeaway. When picking up from restaurants where do I park my car?
During the trial traffic order period, vehicle access on Wind Street will be for loading and unloading between 7.00am and 11.00am only. On-street parking is available in The Strand. Nearby car parks at located adjacent The Strand and Salubrious Place.
I have a blue badge. Can I park in Wind Street?
The road will be open - for loading only - from 7.00am - 11.00am. Blue badge parking is available within the NCP at Salubrious Place off Princess Way and access to Wind street follows Salubrious Passage an accessible covered route. An alternate access is via Little Wind Street. At present nearby there are 11 disability parking spaces available in the NCP multi-storey off Little Wind Street, two spaces in the council's ground-level Salubrious Place Car Park and 14 on-street spaces in The Strand. We're happy to consider other nearby opportunities if the demand is there.
Where can people with a disability be dropped off and picked up if they're using the street?
On-street parking is available in The Strand. Nearby car parks include The Strand and Salubrious Place. Salubrious Place off Princess Way offers the most accessible route, either via Salubrious Passage (an accessible covered route), or via Little Wind Street.
How will people with a disability access Wind Street after it is revamped?
They will be able to use a number of access points. These include the Castle Street/Caer Street junction and the foot of Wind Street at Victoria Road. A number of lanes also lead to Wind Street including Salubrious Passage, Little Wind Street and St Mary Street. The plan is to improve the surfaces of the road and the paved areas within Wind Street; all we be on the same level - there will be no kerbs. It will be a very pedestrian-friendly area.
Why spend all this money just so more people can go drinking?
The Wind Street regeneration project is all about making this an all-day family-friendly venue, bringing a daytime café culture to this much loved historic location. There's a big move in the hospitality business to coffee and food - and this will tap into that expanding market. The new family-friendly Wind Street will have no traffic after 11.00am, bike racks, lots of informal places to sit and relax and an environment that mixes lovely historic buildings, new and mature trees, new greenery and enhanced accessible surfaces, with no kerbs. The main gateways at each end of the street will be a smart green enticement - they'll be real focal points with seating and trees.
What sort of sustainability elements are being factored into this big change?
We are taking a sustainable approach to resurfacing the street. At ground level the paving stones along the street will be lifted, deep-cleaned and re-laid (not replaced) alongside new stone where footways will be extended, to make the whole street safer and accessible. Parts of the carriageway (at key junctions or 'nodes') will be laid with traditional close-abutted natural stone setts to complement the historic environment and to mark these out visually as potential flexible event locations. Where tarmac is laid between these 'nodes' where tarmac is used, this will contain buff coloured chippings to soften the look of the finish and reflect the sandstone paving. We will also be looking to re-use existing granite materials within the street's design.
What work is being done to the street's trees?
We're taking measures to mitigate the damage from ground heave which could cause trips and falls and damage to ground infrastructure. When the final scheme is complete improvements will be seen around the trees meaning safer access for all users of the street. In some locations where there has been evidence of ground disturbance in the past, seats will be placed around the trees to protect pedestrians from any ground heave that may occur; this will also provide informal seating for users to enjoy the new space, or to provide a resting space. Crown reduction has been undertaken on the trees to curb their growth whilst retaining their health. This benefits building occupiers by allowing more light into the historic buildings. It casts more light into the spaces below (although retaining some shade for hot days) benefitting the street and business owners occupying the street. The work will open up views of the historic buildings many of which are listed buildings within the Wind Street Conservation Area.
Who says Wind Street has to be like this? Why can't it stay as it is?
It needs to change because there's a great deal of untapped potential, especially during the daytime. We plan to turn it into a flexible pedestrian space, with the opportunity to hold a wide range of leisure and entertainment uses. The aim is for it to become a family-orientated café quarter - for all to enjoy, residents, tourists and the community at large. The extended daytime use will give businesses the opportunity to diversify and become more successful. As darkness falls, its trees will sparkle with thousands of pea lights that will be able to change colour to reflect different types of occasion.
Have you actually talked to the public about the plan?
Yes. When the Reimaging Wind Street Project was being consulted on in 2018, a consultation event took place at a commercial outlet on Wind Street. Disabled representatives formed part of this process. The final design will be further discussed through September 2020. We intend to engage further with residents as we would normally do in any project as a matter of good practice. The considerations of the initial consultation with the community will feed into the final scheme solutions, and engagement will continue before and during implementation.
What about the future of the street for those with impaired vision?
Officers have engaged with representatives via on line calls, and some key details have been informed by these discussions. The final scheme will be fully accessible and designed all at one level meaning that kerbs will not be present, assisting movement for all. In the absence of kerbs we are designing a clear 2m route along buildings to assist navigation. During the hours of 11.00am right through to the following day at 7.00am the street will be free from traffic and fully accessible.
What about the noise from the pubs and clubs at night? As a local resident why do I have to put up with that?
The whole aim of the scheme is to encourage eating and socialising outside in a family-orientated environment, to discourage the emphasis on alcohol consumption alone which has been problematic for residents in recent times.
Why can't Wind Street have lots of grass like there is on The Kingsway?
One of Wind Street's big attractions is its tall buildings and fine old architecture. However, these buildings mean the conditions at ground level aren't suitable for lawns. By contract, The Kingsway is a broad street so much more sunlight gets to the greenery. However, new green areas will be created as will be shown in plans to come.
How can we be sure that the things that make Wind Street a conservation area won't be lost or drowned out by new development?
The council has a duty to identify areas that have a character worthy of protection and to designate them as conservation areas. Wind Street is one of those and we want to care for it, and it contains several Listed Buildings of note. The emphasis is placed on the quality of an area rather than individual buildings. For example groups of buildings, open spaces, street patterns or trees, can all be important factors which give an area its character. The improvements we plan will enhance and improve upon what is there now. The natural stone materials will complement and enhance the streetscape.
When will the work take place?
We plan to do some preparatory works this autumn, including some tree maintenance and work to improve public lighting and pea lighting. It will be clear for Christmas and we plan to do most of the remaining work throughout 2021, again ensuring that it's clear for Christmas 2021.