A SWANSEA tunnel will echo to the sound of footsteps again as part of a project to improve links between the city centre and the waterfront.
The historic Paxton Street tunnel, off Oystermouth Road, has been closed for years but will be reopened as part of the Waterfront Connections scheme.
Other elements of the Swansea Council project include a path for cyclists and pedestrians adjacent to the LC car park, another shared use path adjacent to the Paxton Street car park, new marina guardrails and “public art” near Meridian Quay.
The work, which should be completed by the end of next April, has been welcomed by the Maritime Quarter Residents’ Association.
Its chairman Keith Evans said: “We are supportive.
“It is long overdue, particular in terms of the Paxton Street tunnel. I am sure it will make improvements to the area.
“To be fair to the council, we have been consulted over the past 18 months.”
Members of the public have asked the council to try to ensure the tunnel does not attract ne’er-do-wells by installing CCTV cameras or even closing it at night.
“The council said that CCTV cameras at the tunnel, over which ran the Mumbles train, will “not be supported within current council policy”.
But it said new lighting and the increased footfall should help deter troublemakers.
Waterfront Connections is one of several projects to smarten up the city centre. Some have been completed, such as a spruce-up of the Lower Oxford Street retail area and upgrades to the prom, while the larger boulevard project — essentially upgrading the main east-west gateway in and out of Swansea — has not. The £32 million for these works has come from the Welsh Government, the Wales European Funding Office and council coffers.
Referring to the Waterfront Connections project, councillor Nick Bradley, cabinet member for Regeneration, said: “The waterfront is one of Swansea’s key strengths but links between the city centre and the sea can clearly be improved for pedestrians and cyclists.
“This scheme will help better connect the two areas and encourage more people to pass back and forth between them.
“We hope this will then have benefits for traders in both the city centre and in waterfront areas including the Marina, SA1 and the promenade.”