Not so very long ago the very thought of a trip into town involved a great deal of planning, expense, stress and frustration. This was especially so when the latest appendage of the St Davids Shopping Centre was being built in Cardiff. At the time it resulted in the closure of two of the city’s main multi-storey car parks and immediately overcrowded the other remaining ones.
Living only a few miles outside, it became far more convenient to use a bus or train to get into town than to take the car – unless, of course you were shopping for paving slabs or bags of cement, which often prove quite a challenge on Network Rail or First Bus. Any more than two and you’re stuck – even with a wheelbarrow!
Back in October the long-awaited St Davids 2 opened to great fanfare and publicity. Initially I thought that it could make the situation worse, with more shops, and therefore more traffic, and therefore more queues. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The new St Davids and John Lewis multi-storey car parks are easy to get to, have acres of parking space, even on busy weekend days, and are really cheap to use. Wonders never cease!
There is a downside though – or is it an upside, I’m beginning to wonder: access to the car park is via an eight mile long, dark, upwardly spiralling ramp which induces spousal nausea within seconds. More effective than a mute button I’d say. The lifts deposit you right in the centre of the food hall of the shopping centre and the pay points take credit cards. A shopping commuter’s dream! Come to Cardiff and see for yourself.