Mixed reaction in Butetown to £100 million tramline

A new tramline is set to be built between Cardiff Central Station and Cardiff Bay as part of plans to “regenerate” the Bay and Butetown area.

Cardiff Council have already secured a £50 million grant from the UK Government’s levelling up fund for the project. The same amount has been matched by the Welsh Government.

Council leader Huw Thomas said in a statement that the tramline will connect some of the City’s “poorest communities to the rail network” and provide a service that is both “affordable and reliable”.

Emily Pemberton has lived in Cardiff her whole life. She’s unhappy with the amount of public money that is to be spent on the tramline.

“When you’re being told constantly that there’s no funding for your youth services, no funding for the libraries, no funding for your hubs, it’s a bit of a slap in the face when there’s so much money for projects the community are not necessarily asking for”.

With a train line between Cardiff Bay and the City centre, Emily believes the money should be put into “existing transport services that people already use”. She says it’s “difficult to see how the community who live there will benefit from the decision”.

But Ali Zay, a Butetown local, says the plan is “really exciting”. He thinks “any sort of investment within the community is a good thing”.

He is particularly happy that the tramline will potentially knock down parts of what he calls a “restrictive” wall which separates the houses and apartment blocks in Butetown from the new developments along Lloyd George Avenue. He says this could “bring a different vibrancy to the area”.

The council have also announced other plans to regenerate the area.

According to the Council’s website, the first phase of what they call Cardiff’s Crossrail scheme is to be done during 2024.