“Why does the Vale Council appear to want to work against the electorate? Surely they want the best for the area? Why won’t they include the by-pass within their new study into the Dinas Powys traffic corridor?” asks Cllr Andy Robertson a member of the Dinas Powys By-Pass Steering Group.
“Why can’t we see the effect that would have on congestion?”
The Vale Council intend holding two meetings on transport issues and opportunities in the Dinas Powys traffic corridor during the next few weeks. They will form part of a £15,000 study into what Welsh
Government Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates AM called the ‘unique’ transport problems in the village. He said a fully funded solution must be found.
“We hope the exercise is more than public relations dressing to show what white lines, cycle ways and footpaths are intended,” said Cllr Robertson. He added: “The Council have already said the outcome of
the new study must fit their Local Development Plan (LDP). But the by-pass has been omitted although it’s been in Council maps for over 50 years.”
“But the Council’s Local Transport Plan (LTP) states that ‘highway improvement works in the form of corridor improvement schemes will be required as part of the LDP.’ It also says this is intended ‘to mitigate the impact of any development on the highway network,’ he explained.
“Well, the traffic impact of 10,200 houses in the Vale is going to be significant. So where are the proposed schemes to mitigate the effect of around 20,000 more vehicles, making 40,000 extra trips daily, a large percentage trying to travel through Dinas Powys?”
The Council claims the traffic problems could be solved if more people took to walking and cycling. But Minister Ken Skates AM said recently that much as he supported these alternative methods of transport they would only ever make a ‘small dent’ in the primary need for good roads.
“Everyone seems to be relying on a one-size- fits-all solution of the new Metro project which is still some years away,” said Rob Crowley, another member of the Steering Group.
They say it should be part of an integrated transport system rather than stand alone.
“On a cold, wet winter’s morning possibly carrying cases or bags, walking up to a mile to either of our two rail stations may be laudable but is not really credible, particularly for the aged, disabled or people
with young children,” Rob Crowley added. “We only have one small park-and- ride at one side of one of our two stations and no proposals for even drop-off areas.
“What about people in places like Sully, Cosmeston, the top end of Barry and outlying parts of Dinas Powys like Michaelston-le- Pit or St Andrews ? It won’t be easy for them to get much use from the Metro
but they will be paying for it in their Council tax for the next 25 years?”
“The Council’s experts have told them that the congestion problems are only going to get worse,” said Roger Pattenden, a chartered civil engineer, who’s also part of the Dinas Powys group. “So in their LDP they say that improvement schemes are needed at all the junctions on the A4055 from Biglis roundabout to the Merrie Harrier but little to nothing is being done to make such schemes happen.”
Discussions between the Council and the Emergency Services have been ongoing since 2014 to get their views. However, residents have noted a marked increase in the need for the use of lights and sirens
going through the village. Emergency vehicles need to push other traffic onto pavements to get through the two-lane A4055.
“In 2015 the Council said they had secured funding from the Welsh Government for bus priority measures in the Dinas Powys corridor. But there is no space for further bus lanes so what could be done and how would it ease congestion?
“Plans for the Metro are the only thing that appears to have progressed,” commented Roger Pattenden.
“Meanwhile the public are still just waiting…and waiting…in traffic queues or struggling to get onto overcrowded trains.”