Cardiff Active Travel Improvements


Burroughs is currently appointed by Cardiff County Council to provide civil and drainage design support on a wide range of projects across Cardiff to retrofit Active Travel routes and associated drainage into existing urban streets, taking the schemes through concept design, detailed design and construction support. The approach has required a place-led approach to design development of these Active Travel improvements that incorporates green infrastructure SuDS that also serve to enhance the placemaking and vehicle speed reduction benefits of the improvement.

Schedule 3 to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 is a legislation that was implemented in Wales on 7 January 2019 and introduces standards for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of new sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) and also establishes an approving body (SAB) in local authorities that are responsible for approving and adopting the drainage systems. Cardiff Council is one, if not the leading Authority on its implementation across Wales and the UK and as part of our design support role on these Active Travel schemes, we have been developing a standard green infrastructure/SuDs design guide that the authority can use to inform their drainage design requirements for all future schemes as part of adding biodiversity and climate change resilience whilst simultaneously creating improved provision for walking and cycling.

Our current schemes with Cardiff Council include Callaghan Square Junction, Tramshed Junction, Penarth Road Junction, Roath Recreation Red Route, Cycleway 2 Newport Road, Cycleway 5 Leckwith Road and Hailey Park, with varying scales and complexities within the existing road corridors.  All schemes are ongoing and at differing stages of the concept design, detailed design and construction support process with the exception of the Tramshed Junction that was completed on site in March 2024.

As with all these retrofit Active Travel schemes, implementing green infrastructure drainage improvements such as raingardens and treepits, are often difficult to facilitate in urban areas with the density of existing below ground infrastructure. At Tramshed, Burroughs managed the interface with key statutory utility stakeholders WWU and DCWW early to develop a design for raingarden provision without requiring the diversion of any existing assets and the associated costs. This allowed the inclusion of the raingarden within the client’s restricted budget and programme for scheme, with the raingarden serving to treat contaminated highway surface water runoff, reduce downstream pressure in the existing sewer network, and provide visual amenity and biodiversity improvements for residents and locals. Burroughs also supported the construction process with regular site meetings and visits with the contractor to ensure the drainage was constructed as per design and the scheme was successfully completed in March 2024 and is now fully operational.

Another one of the schemes that is well advanced in the process is Roath Rec Red Route which started on site in February 2024. Burroughs have successfully developed the concept and detailed drainage design for the scheme working closely with the Cardiff team and key stakeholders including Cardiff Parks and we obtained Full-SAB approval in late 2023.  As part of our design development, we have worked closely with the DCWW team to allow our active travel drainage design to also include much needed drainage improvements to the library car park, whilst also providing betterment to DCWW and controlling and slowing the overall outfall to their combined system.  With our excellent relationship we have and maintain with the SAB team, our approval was obtained within programme and only included minimal conditions which we have since discharged.

As a further example of our successful supporting role on these Active Travel schemes, Burroughs have just completed the detailed drainage design for the Hailey Park scheme in Cardiff, with particular sensitivities of the local community as a result of other works within the park.  Working closely and collaboratively with the Cardiff project team and Simon Dooley within the Cardiff SAB team we have developed a practical, deliverable drainage scheme of swales and bio retention features and have received successful Full-SAB approval ahead of programme.  The scheme is currently going through the contractor procurement process to start works on site in 2024.

Client / Project TEam

Cardiff County Council