There was much to be gained from this session – if the right people were asked the right questions.

* Stage 1 Study report by consultants, Arcadis due to be completed in the next couple of weeks. It won’t go before the Vale Council’s Cabinet, and therefore won’t become public, until after the local elections on 4th May.
* Cabinet needs to give green light for funding of further stages to study the options chosen from the Stage 1 Study.

The By-Pass Steering Group presented a number of questions and proposals to the Officials and Consultants that had been compiled by Chartered Civil Engineer Roger Pattenden and Rod Harrod and are summarised as follows:-

1.) Why is the A4055 between McDonalds and Merrie Harrier the only stretch of Strategic Transport Corridor in the Vale not to by-pass a major settlement (Dinas Powys) on its route?

LTPlan Strategic Corridors-8  (1)

2.) Could Section 106 money paid by developers be put into a pot towards the funding of the By-Pass which the Vale Council now call the Barry Waterfront to Cardiff Link Road?  If Waterfront residents are going to use it, why shouldn’t that section 106 money be put into the pot?  People won’t want to buy a house there when they can’t get to Cardiff without long delays.  What have Dinas Powys Vale Councillors requested Section 106 money be spent on in this area?

3. We presented to Officers and consultants our double-roundabout proposal for Merrie Harrier. Officials were surprised the former petrol station land might still be available. We’ve provided them with contact details.

Merrie Harrier Jnc Rev1 (1)

4. We emphasised the pollution effect on children and adults of the increasing number of HGVs and diesel vehicles on the A4055 – particularly from Cardiff Bay when the A4232 extension is completed in a few weeks. We don’t believe the Council’s reports have taken this extra traffic into account,

5. We indicated it would need a 75% shift from people using their own vehicles to other forms of transport to make inroads into the current over-capacity on the A4055.  We think this is unlikely because:-

  1. Trains : Network Rail have said implementation on  Metro Phase 3 to improve capacity on Barry to Cardiff isn’t likely to start until after 2020.

  2. Undercover, secure cycle parking facilities at both stations are needed.

  3. Drop-off zones to enable people to alight and pick up at both stations on both sides of A4055 are needed.

  4. Difficult, but possible – park-and-ride areas at stations are needed.

  5. Lack of shuttle bus routes within Dinas Powys for people not living close to bus stops and stations on the A4055.

  6. Highlighted lack of buses, particularly to Penarth after 6.00p.m. and on Sundays.

  7. Suggested possibility of summer circular route via Sully, Cosmeston, Penarth Esplanade and Penarth back to Dinas Powys.

6. We established the ‘Bus Priority Routes’ in several Vale Council documents referred to the stretch of road between the Merrie Harrier and the Barons Court interchange.  It must be assumed this costly development is aimed to take the dozens of buses anticipated from the proposed 500 space park-and-ride the Vale Council plan for Cosmeston Park.

7. Plans to build a cycle/pedestrian track alongside the Barry Road from McDonalds to Cross Common. No funds committed to negotiate with the ten landowners the path would cross. This makes it unlikely to happen for years.  Other routes along the Dinas Powys corridor for cyclists are circuitous or dangerous because of narrow hilly single-track roads.

8. Council have no plans in place to prevent the daily rat-run, through the village via Station Road and out towards Leckwith along Penny-Turnpike

  1. We informed up to 50% of A4055 traffic is using this route in peak hours.

  2. A traffic count in 2015 showed up to 850 vehicles an hour using this route – greater than the Vale Council’s assessment of traffic on the A4055.

  3. Long-awaited road safety improvement measures for the blind-corner junction of Millbrook Road with Penny-turnpike are likely to be given the funding green light within the next month.

9. The Vale Council have committed in numerous places in their Local Development Plan (LDP) to provide ‘appropriate highway infrastructure’ to cater for the 10,000 new houses they plan to be built in the next five years. But no firm and funded proposals have been put in place. Nor have they scaled back on the planned developments to mitigate the lack of infrastructure.

10. We emphasised to Consultants that it would not be a complete study of transport around Dinas Powys without the costs and benefits of a by-pass taken into consideration. None of the five other studies carried out in the last five years have assessed the by-pass as a potential option.

11. We drew attention to the way a by-pass is being progressed for the A473 between Llanharran and Brynnau Gwynion although its not a Strategic Highway and runs parallel to the M4. The settlements along its route are far less in population than those that would be relieved by a Dinas Powys By-pass.

There are still a few days left to complete the petition for the Welsh Government to fund the By-Pass. It will be presented to the Welsh Government at the end of the month.

We must all keep pushing for a solution to the increasing traffic problems which we think requires the By-pass. It’s better than sitting in endless queues.

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