SWANSEA’S go-to place for a night out will become one-way under proposals approved by cabinet.
The decision will also pave the way for more outdoor seating areas on Wind Street, new street lighting, wider pavements and a general spruce-up.
Wind Street is currently two-way for traffic but vehicles are kept away on weekend nights, during high-profile sporting events like the Six Nations, and on Wednesday nights during student term-time.
Changes, including full pedestrianisation, have been proposed over the years and the latest survey of businesses and residents in the immediate area showed overwhelming support for one-way traffic – preferably daytime only – more outdoor seating areas, wider pavements and space for public events.
Introducing a range of Wind Street revamp options, Councillor Robert Francis-Davies, cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said it was one of the best nightlife spots in Wales, but added: “I think it’s important that we re-imagine and upgrade Wind Street.”
Doing so, he said, would bring it more in line with its original concept as a cafe quarter.
Councillor Mark Child described Wind Street as “a success story”, and said its portrayal in some sections of the media was “wholly unjustified”.
Councillor Jennifer Raynor said she had enjoyed Wind Street’s offering at 10pm, while council leader Rob Stewart said today’s “Instagram generation” preferred sharing photos of their food and drink rather than boozy nights out.
Council officers will now apply for funding for a £1.47m revamp of the street, with a view to adding public art and feature lighting to the shopping list if extra grants can be secured. Some money from the council’s capital budget will be used.
The project, in collaboration with business group Swansea Bid, is expected to take two years to complete.
Wind Street has changed a lot over the centuries, and council chiefs said it will need to cater for people attending concerts and other events at the new indoor arena being built at the LC car park.
Speaking after the meeting, Sean McMahon, a spokesman for Wind Street businesses Jack Murphys and Coyote Ugly, said he welcomed the new proposals. “We think it’s a good way forward, and it’s halfway there already,” he said. “There are a lot of good eateries on Wind Street.”
Swansea Bid chief executive Russell Greenslade said: “Improved pedestrian areas encourage a broader mix of people to visit city centres.
“This would be a logical and a healthy step for Wind Street and would complement the rest of Swansea city centre on its regeneration journey.”