Llandaff Conservative Coucillor and former shop owner Sean Driscoll says the Castle Street Cafe quarter risks being redundant.
With a chronic need to increase footfall it is imperative that Castle Street is opened for traffic from buses and taxis. Moving seating from the Castle Street area to outside restaurants and cafés can further raise custom.
Councillor Driscoll said: "Cardiff council needs to start being pro-active and work to ensure shops and hospitality businesses make the best they can leading up to the usually busy Christmas period.
"Our city is based on hospitality and retail. The Council should look at fast-link Christmas shopping specials and subsidised transport to tap into the 1.9 million strong market of the South Gloucestershire and greater Bristol region.
"Cardiff needs City leadership with gumption and can-do enterprising zeal to help make the best of the challenging retail environment we are in."