I hadn’t really taken it on board until the pandemic and social distancing hit us. Living in the Lons at the top of Glanmor Rd., I often came down to the Uplands to do some shopping or meet friends. I’d cross Sketty Rd by the hairdressers and walk on the pavement down to Uplands News or Crumbs. But I never came down past the shops like Subway as it made me slightly uncomfortable. Now I am able to understand it. People get too close to me there and seem to invade my personal space. I’d have to step out into the bus lane, so that I didn’t bump into someone passing me or in the bus queue. More than once I had a bus or taxi hoot at me!
So, if I’d had to step out into the traffic flow, I am sure that others will have done the same. What must it be like if you use a buggy or have a disability? There just isn’t enough space for shoppers and walkers as the traffic seems to have pushed us humans onto the very edge of the 30 metres roadway.
So, could we do better than this for Uplands? What would make it a better experience? Take a trip around Swansea with me to see what can be done.
First stop, the Kingsway, where there used to be 4 lanes of traffic making the road a nightmare for pedestrians. Now it is down to 2 lanes with trees, grass and shrubs planted along the wide pavements, as well as decent benches and seats to sit on.
Let’s head west up to the Killay shopping centre where even a small courtyard can provide a place to shop and gossip, away from the polluted air.
Next stop is the Ice house piazza to see how trees can be trained in a confined space. And while we are down in the marina take a look at the sculptures along the promenade and imagine some nice artwork in the Uplands.
Our trip to the marina area finishes opposite Morgans, where the home owners on Somerset Place have painted their properties in an array of colours to brighten any day!
We definitely need to sit down now for a cup of coffee and what better place to finish than Verdi’s where it is possible to sit down outside and watch the world go by.
Is any of this too much to ask for the Uplands?