Download PDF

Cardiff Pop Up Cycleways

Client: Cardiff County Council

Value: £800,000


  • Construction of a series of cross city cycleways to facilitate and enable more journeys to be made by cycle
  • Flexible delivery approach with high level design provided and final approach collaboratively conceived on site
  • Significant interface with shops, road users, and store patrons across three key parts of the city centre


Since the start of the social distancing and lockdown provisions during the Covid-19 pandemic, the capacity of public transport in Cardiff was severely limited. To facilitate and enable more journeys, a temporary and safe series of cycleways was introduced, located along strategic routes within the city. Following a mini-competition on the South East Wales Highways framework, Walters were appointed as the delivery partner for the works. Due to the speed of the roll out of the cycleways, a design had not been developed for routes, only a high-level concept of where they would start, run and finish. Two routes were required: a cross city route which ran east to west along the main thoroughfare of Cardiff – Castle Street; and a red route through the popular Roath town centre.


In collaboration with the client – Cardiff Council – and the Cardiff Council Network Management Team, we developed and implemented the routes, with final design concepts being agreed on a just-in-time programme to speed up delivery. This required detailed consideration of specific routes, alterations to existing highways, and developing traffic management proposals that minimized impact on users and local business. The works were overseen and delivered in-house using professional operators who were able to interface with the public on a daily basis. The scope of works evolved significantly through delivery as the difficulty and practicality of installing cycleways emerged. We worked proactively and collaboratively with our client to manage and deliver this evolution.


Many of the routes ran immediately outside of retail units who were obviously concerned that their construction and operation would impact footfall. We worked proactively with these businesses to plan the works around peak times and ensure any complaints were handled and actioned quickly.


The routes crossed and interfaced with numerous services which required identification, protection, and diversion, working closely with the client and service providers. We also encountered several unknown services which required safe excavation practices and proactive re-deployment of resource whilst options were considered and implemented.


The project was delivered during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in a city centre environment. It was important that our works were not only delivered with the safety and wellbeing of our staff but also of the general public.

Other Projects