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Work begins to reopen historic Swansea city centre tunnel

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

Contractors Aaron Evans (left) and Christopher Davies repoint stonework to the entrance of the tunnel walkway

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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.”

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  • Nubbo  |  November 08 2012, 5:02PM

    The Mumbles Train did not run over this tunnel.... It was used as a good's sidings for the LMS Railway inbetween Victoria Station and the Mumbles Train which ran alongside Oystermouth Rd and the tunnel. It's about time the Council gave the Slipbridge Abutments a facelift and also install a replica span to preserve the History of the Mumbles train .

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  • jstmypov  |  November 08 2012, 2:39PM

    Great for public safety, to be able to use the walk way once again instead of walking across the busy car parks either side of it. As for it attracting beggars etc... It currently is a shelter used by many homeless people and a quiet corner for drinkers. So opening it up for public use will be a deterant in it self. A bit of history of the city brought back to life...such a shame Swansea did away with the trams in the first place though otherwise we would have the one of if not the oldest tram line in the world.

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  • Hadoken458934  |  November 08 2012, 11:29AM

    Oh... that should serve as a nice spot for all the beggars, druggies and wineos, I cant wait to experience that along with the aroma of urine and disinfectant.

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  • Jiffy  |  November 08 2012, 11:01AM

    It might prove useful to those going to the Library - otherwise it's the long way around to nowhere.

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