People Movement

Key to the success of the redevelopment of Central Square is the comfort, safety, ease of movement, and experience of visitors to the area.

A successful Cardiff Central Square should:
  • Work as an attractive and accessible public urban space
  • Integrate with the wider city, be legible, comfortable and accessible
  • Safely accommodate crowd flows associated with the Millennium Stadium during a wide variety of events
  • Maintain the amenity of the area for other users providing appropriate levels of service, good visibility, safety and emergency access
  • Comply with relevant standards.

Pedflow specialists, Buro Happold were commissioned to review data provided by key stakeholders Arriva Trains Wales, Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Council.

As well as informing the design of the Public Spaces, the aim of the study was to review the proposed redevelopment plans against:
1.Current crowd management strategy implemented during a peak departure scenario from a large-scale sport event at the Millennium Stadium

Conclusion:- The increased size of the plaza helps to accommodate event day queuing while maintaining a free route through the plaza.

2.Weekday “business-as-usual” circulation tested to plus 100% and 200%

Conclusion:- The increased size of the station plaza offers potential for the area to be used as a social space (accommodating small scale events) without obstructing through flows of people moving from the train station to the city centre.

3.Crowd management strategy potentially, without using Network Rail land.

Conclusion:- The new Masterplan provides flexibility to reorganise the queues to make the best use of the additional space available.

Buro Happold worked closely with Foster + Partners to:
  • address the widths of the new streets
  • Inform the design of the Public Realm with minimal street furniture
  • identify key desire lines and safe pedestrian routes
  • Identify signage opportunities

The Millennium Stadium is a key attractor within the city and major contributor to the local economy. With a capacity of just over 72,000, the positives that having the stadium in the heart of the city centre presents, also brings with it challenges, particularly in terms of crowd management, overloading of the public transport network and local road closures.

Existing Design
Proposed Design

Given the fundamental relationship that the Masterplan site has with the Stadium and railway station, the Masterplan fully addresses the challenge of accommodating crowd management, as well as exploring opportunities to improve on the current situation through clearer wayfinding, creation of more open space and use of the new linkages to manage the different queue destinations.

Buro Happold have applied their specialists crowd modelling expertise to the Masterplan process, utilising crowd data from regional and international Rugby events held in the Millennium Stadium to explore options for crowd management and general pedestrian flow.

One of the key features of the Masterplan in relation to addressing the issue of crowd management is the increased area of public realm to the front of Central Station.

The proposed layout provides a larger area to the front of the station, as well as providing an additional pedestrian route between Wood Street and the Station. The space made available within these pedestrian routes increases significantly from 1,800 sq m to 3,450 sq m, whilst the plaza space increase from 5,350 sq m to 6,200 sq m.

Buro Happold’s model demonstrates that the station plaza area is sufficient to maintain a clear through movement of people from the Millennium Stadium to Saunders Road without impacting on people queuing for the train station.