Motorists in Swansea have been urged to plan ahead this weekend as the city centre’s one-way system is replaced.
A number of key roads, including the Kingsway, will change from one-way to two-way from 09:00 BST on Sunday.
Swansea Council has issued a map and traffic marshals will help motorists and pedestrians familiarise themselves with the new lane directions.
Council leader Rob Stewart said the one-way system on the “historic” Kingsway was “killing the city centre”.
The £12m redevelopment of the area has been plagued by delays, mainly due to construction firm Dawnus going bankrupt in 2019.
But the transition to two-way traffic was also delayed in March due to coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Stewart said it would allow more direct journeys across the city centre and help reduce traffic on the Kingsway.
“We needed to bring back a sensible traffic flow to Swansea, but it’s also given us an opportunity to re-green the city, bring hundreds more trees into the city centre and deliver a city centre which is fit for the new century,” he added.
The layout has been altered on numerous occasions over the last two decades, but Mr Stewart is adamant the authority will not be making further changes.
He said it was “really important” to get it right in order to create a “really nice area” in the city centre to attract business.
The two-way switch – overnight from 18:00 on Saturday to 09:00 on Sunday – will take place on the Kingsway, Orchard Street, Christina Street, Mansel Street, De La Beche Street, Grove Place, Alexandra Road and Belle Vue Way.
Cradock Street will change its one-way direction and the junction of Pleasant Street and Orchard Street will close.
Traders in the area broadly welcomed the change.
“I’m really happy about it. I’m looking forward to the road system going back to what it used to be,” said Marcus Luporini, owner of one of Swansea’s most famous cafes, the Kardomah.
Many business owners say the complexity of the one-way system had put people off shopping in town.
Linda Hurford, owner of Chic and Elegant Bridalwear on the Kingsway, said the main redevelopment, completed late last year, has already improved the area.
“I’ve trebled my takings since January, even though we’ve had the lockdown,” she said.
Some commuters and business owners fear the new Kingsway road is too narrow and will cause accidents.
But the council said the road had been deliberately “throttled” to slow down traffic.