At least 200 residents attended during the six hour Barratt Homes exhibition held at the Lee Hall in the village on Thursday 24th August. On display were proposals to build 230 homes on the site of the former St Cyres Lower School.

“However, rather than house-buying everyone seemed to have one thing on their mind: how were the construction vehicles and then the new home-owners going to access the site?  When it was explained by helpful company representatives that they intended using Murch Crescent and Murch Road to  access the A4055 over the railway bridge there was an almost audible exclamation of ‘No way,’ reported Dinas Powys By-pass Steering Group Chair, Rod Harrod.

Numerous comments have been made to back up this exclamation:

  • Safety, including clear access at all times for ambulances and other emergency vehicles to the Health Centre and existing residents.
  • Danger, during construction, to School children walking to schools.
  • Health, particularly the added air pollution at the Infant School at the Murch Road and Cardiff Road traffic lights.
  • Traffic congestion which the Vale Council’s own consultants, Capita Symonds projected will grow so that, by 2026, rush hour traffic would be backed-up from the Cardiff Road to the Health Centre.

N.B. The Cardiff Road / Murch Road junction is the only Dinas Powys junction running at over-capacity even in 2012 according to the Council’s Highways Impact Assessment (HIA).

  • The impact on the Strategic Highway Network, of which Cardiff Road forms part.
  • The recently signed Local Development Plan states: “All new developments that have a direct impact onto the strategic transportation infrastructure will be required to deliver appropriate improvements to the network.” (SP7 p48 and MG18 p80)
  • Plans to build another 70 houses off Caerleon Road with access to the main road network also via Murch Road and the traffic lights at Cardiff Road.

“Together these developments would add around 1,200 extra road trips a day, although Barratt officials pointed out they wouldn’t all be travelling at the same time.  No, just most of them at peak morning and evening rush hours,” commented Rod Harrod.

“Interestingly, only one person attending the exhibition was heard to object to the development – not just its access.

“We kept hearing people say that if the development was delayed until after the by-pass is built then access (off the by-pass) would not be a problem.  That, of course, is up to the Welsh Assembly Government to confirm the by-pass will be funded and the start and projected end times confirmed.”

Presentations to Vale Scrutiny Committee 14 Sept 2017

Rod Harrod’s Presentation

Good evening. I’m Rod Harrod.

You have before you three options from ARCADIS Consulting which are proposed for further investigation in Stage 2 of this WelTAG Study.

Some may wonder why the Multi-Modal option doesn’t include a by-pass. That’s simple!  Because ARCADIS claim at Page 19 of their report it would

combine to create a high cost option and may potentially detract from the rail investment elements of the package by improving car journey times.

In other words, without the by-pass this option would not improve journey times or reduce congestion through Dinas Powys.  But wasn’t that the objective?

In any case, the extra passenger benefit from rail investment would be constrained for Dinas Powys stations by inadequate platform lengths and little land available for car parking.

Fact: 78% of commuters in Dinas Powys use a car, van or motorcycle to get to work.  Just 22% combined use bus, train, cycle or walk.

Of Course non-car travel options are desirable. But that doesn’t mean they’ll magically work regardless of increasing traffic congestion.  Build 4,000 homes at Barry Waterfront, 450 in Dinas Powys and over 1,500 in adjoining settlements without improving the highway infrastructure and something has to give.

That’s what’s happening on the A4055 right now.  Not in five, ten or 20 years time, but now, on a daily basis.  By-passes have been built around every other settlement on the Vale’s strategic highway corridors, except Dinas Powys.

A by-pass would benefit residents throughout the Vale. A by-pass could easily include park and ride facilities, cycle paths and walkways.  But the report doesn’t examine these possibilities.  It could also improve access between communities along its path.  Instead, individual options have been lumped together to form an ineffective Multi-Modal. The By-Pass is left to stand – and potentially fail – on its own.  Was this intended?

Finally, Page 19 of the report also refers to a single route for the southern part of a by-pass.  But alternative routes are possible and may offer greater benefits if considered at the outset of Stage 2.

In summation the Do-Minimum is no solution. The Multi-Modal would be ineffective unless traffic congestion is first reduced and yes, the by-pass could be improved by adding sustainable elements like a park and ride facility, cycle-tracks and walkways.

Surely the objective is to find a long term solution to the problem for the public rather than pandering to any provider or niche interest.

Roger Pattenden’s Presentation

Good evening.  I’m Roger Pattenden.

I don’t see how the three options shortlisted in Arcadis’ report can be compared.  They really are unequal.  Only the by-pass could significantly reduce traffic congestion and improve vehicle journey times including for buses.  Without a by-pass, there’s insufficient long-term economic, employment, social and environmental benefit.

The majority of respondents at a public consultation on 13th March stressed the need for a by-pass and requested weight and speed restrictions on the A4055 through Dinas Powys.  They drew attention to the Juggernauts and HGVs that pollute and endanger the lives of children at the local Junior School on this road.  But Arcadis haven’t noted that such restrictions aren’t possible while the road remains an ‘A’ Road.  However, a by-pass could become the ‘A’ road, turning the Cardiff Road through Dinas Powys into a ‘B’ Road with restrictions.

The report doesn’t mention other road infrastructure works around Wales that have been justified.  Schemes like the Newtown By-pass, the Caernarfon to Bontnewydd By-pass, the new stretch of A4232 to Cardiff docks and the planned 4km Five Mile Lane near Barry.

Arcadis refer to a Review Group, created by officials to oversee and guide the study work.  It currently includes representatives of rail, bus, cycling and walking interests who clearly support their own modes of travel.  But 78% of local commuters who travel by car or van are not yet represented on the Group.

It’s accepted that any option must include increasing the capacity of the critical Merrie Harrier junction which is otherwise predicted to become 400% over capacity by 2026.

Another proposal I hope will be considered and evaluated in Stage 2 is safety improvements on the route through Dinas Powys old village along Pen-y-Turnpike to Leckwith.  Two weeks ago, there was a three car pile-up on this narrow road, along which a daily rat-run has developed.

I fear that the current short-list for Stage 2 may not allow investigation of combinations of a by-pass with sustainable travel improvements.

To identify the most effective solutions to the present transport problems from which the preferred option for Stage 3 could be chosen, maybe it would be possible for the Committee to request Cabinet to review the scope of Stage 2 to cover investigation of the various proposals and combinations mentioned.

I hope what I’ve said will be of help to the Committee.

Cllr Rob Crowley’s Presentation

Good evening fellow Councillors.

I’d like to express concern at the way the options in this report have been scored to reach the shortlist under scrutiny tonight.

Each of the long list of options is scored against 5 objectives using a scoring system that goes from largely beneficial down to largely adverse.  But the scores applied to all options except the by-pass seem to be optimistically good and are perhaps based more on hope than hard fact.  Conversely, scores for the by-pass option appear pessimistic.

For example, the enhanced bus services option is rated as slightly-to-moderately good.  But this is at odds with statements also within the ARCADIS document that journey times will be dependent on the limitations of the existing road network. They say an investment step change for infrastructure is required to allow better journey times.  Presumably that means a by-pass?  If buses are stuck in traffic jams how can this option be rated as good?

Another major variable is the way the report deals in the scoring with the by-pass and the multi-modal options both of which would include an improved capacity Merrie Harrier junction.  The multi modal option receives a high score for economic growth but the by-pass option gets a lower score despite it offering less traffic congestion.

If you wish, I could read similar examples for the other options or you can read them on this sheet.  (See comments below) Which would you prefer?

This inconsistent scoring of the options could give the reader a false view of the relative merits of each option.  In particular, it could appear that the multi-modal option, which could not significantly reduce traffic congestion, is better than the by-pass option which could improve journey times and reduce pollution from stop-start traffic.

For the economic, environmental, social and business future of the Eastern Vale, different combinations of proposals must surely be properly considered in Stage 2.

Colleagues, it’s time to grasp this nettle and sort this problem out, not just for the immediate future but for our children, grandchildren and generations to come.  I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves and their electorate.

Comments on the scoring of individual options in Arcadis’ Stage 1 Report

  • First, the Do-Minimum Option. Page 7 says this option would result in ‘Deterioration of the Cardiff Road corridor …. increased journey time and anticipate worsening of highway junction capacity.’ Our Council’s own HIA lists all main junctions in the corridor in the top 10 of the Vale’s over-capacity junctions in 2012 and predicts worse by 2026.  But Arcadis rate this option as only slightly adverse.
  • For Enhanced Rail Services, page 9 says that Dinas Powys station platforms have ‘insufficient length to accommodate additional carriages’. So a limit on train capacity and park and ride problems at the stations would restrict increased train usage.  Nevertheless, Arcadis rate this option as slightly or moderately beneficial.
  • For Enhanced Bus Services, I have mentioned how the report rates this option as slightly or moderately beneficial and yet statements in it admit that the benefits can’t be realised while there is bad traffic congestion.
  • For On-Line Highway Improvements, page 14 says that ‘modifications to key local junctions’ will ‘improve capacity and traffic flow’ and would ‘improve upon existing journey times’. But how could this work on the Cardiff Road when the currently over-capacity junction at the Murch Road traffic lights, is constrained on all sides by existing buildings and a Junior School?  Surprisingly, this option is scored as slightly to moderately beneficial against connectivity and economic growth objectives.
  • The Multi-Modal option is a collection of individual options except the by-pass. But the scores for each of its components seem over optimistic and the same applies when they are combined.  For economic growth, no individual component scores better than slightly beneficial.  But somehow their combination into the multi-modal option makes the score jump to largely beneficial with the claim that it would improve journey times even though traffic congestion has not been significantly reduced.

Community Cllr Edward Jenkins also addressed the Committee.

He explained that, before retirement, he’d headed one of the largest transport companies in Wales.  The company had grown from its original base as Hills Transport of Dinas Powys and he’s lived in the village all his life.  This put him in an informed position on the traffic situation in the village.  He also now lives in Mill Road and witnesses the daily increasing rat-run of traffic through the old village, using the route through Penny-Turnpike to Leckwith, to avoid the grid lock on the A4055 Cardiff to Barry Road.

Cllr Jenkins added that he’d met with a local architect who showed him numerous plans and documents drawn up for a by-pass under discussion between the 2000 and 2008 period.  The grouping involved in these discussions included former Penarth and Cardiff South MP Alun Michael, Jane Hutt A.M. and a group of representatives of senior local authority Officers together with people from Persimmon Construction.


Comments on Proposed Large Housing Developments in Dinas Powys

Barratts at site of St Cyres Lower School, top of Murch Crescent

United Welsh Housing Association at site off Caerleon Road, Murch



(sponsored by Dinas Powys Conservatives).

Full Planning Applications for these developments are expected to be submitted to the Vale Council shortly.  These comments cover points which could be made when this happens.

The current plans are for 220 houses at the St Cyres site and 70 houses at the Caerleon Rd site.

These estates will generate additional traffic both during construction and after occupation.  The only road access to both these sites is off the traffic light controlled junction on the strategic highway Cardiff Road (A4055) and up Murch Road.

The implications of extra traffic on Murch Road include:

  1. Safety – including the need for open access for Emergency Vehicles to and from the Health Centre and for residents living along the roads leading to the developments.
  2. Safety for school children entering and leaving Dinas Powys Infant School.
  3. Safety for residents of all ages crossing roads, particularly at the Murch Road / Castle Drive junction, and accessing the shops on Castle Drive.
  4. Added pollution along the routes.
  5. Increased noise along the routes.
  6. The impact on the already over-capacity strategic highway through Dinas Powys.

This last point probably represents the strongest case for objecting to each of the planning applications as explained below.  A further point relating to the disposal of sewage from the St Cyres site is covered later in these comments.


1 – Impact on Strategic Highway network

The new administration in the Vale were given no option but to sign into law at the end of June 2017 the Local Development Plan (LDP) compiled by the previous administration.  Policies SP7, MG16 and MD5 form part of the document.  Each contains requirements that relate to the impact of new developments on the strategic transport infrastructure and specifically on the highway network.

The relevant extracts are as follows:-

Policy SP7 – Transportation

The last paragraph states: ‘All new developments that have a direct impact on the strategic transportation infrastructure will be required to deliver appropriate improvements to the network.

Policy MG 16 – Transport Proposals

The last section under the sub-heading ‘Highway Improvement Works’ states:     ‘In addition, to mitigate the impact of development on the highway network, highway improvement works in the form of corridor or junction improvement schemes will be required.’

Policy MD 5 – Developments within Settlement Boundaries

Dinas Powys and Sully are among the LDP’s listed Settlements.  The second sentence of this Policy states: New development within these settlements will be permitted where the proposed development:  ’  There follows a list of various ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’ points, including at number 6:  ‘Has no unacceptable impact on the amenity and character of the locality by way of noise, traffic congestion and parking.

These Policies mean that no new development will be permitted if it would result in an adverse or unacceptable impact on the highway network.  So, in order for a new development which would have such an impact to gain planning permission, appropriate highway improvement works would need to be implemented first.

The strategic road junction nearest the St Cyres and Caerleon Road developments is the Cardiff Rd / Murch Rd traffic light junction.

To identify the severity of the impact these developments could have on this junction, we have looked at the following traffic studies

  1. Capita Symonds – Highway Impact Assessment (HIA) for Vale Council, August 2013.
  2. Asbri Transport – Transport Statement for United Welsh Housing Association, February 2015
  3. RPS Group – Transport Assessment for Barratt Homes South Wales, August 2017

Traffic count surveys were carried out in December 2012 for the HIA and in September 2015 for Barratt’s St Cyres development.  Asbri’s report appears to have used the HIA’s 2012 traffic figures for this junction though they did counts in 2013 and 2015 for the Castle Drive / Conway Close and Murch Rd / Castle Drive junctions.

All three studies show that the Cardiff Rd / Murch Rd / Millbrook Rd junction was close to or over capacity at the start of the study period.  This is illustrated by the following figures for PRC (Practical Reserve Capacity ) and for the number of cars queueing on Murch Road back from the traffic lights.  PRC is a measure of the spare capacity at a road junction.  A negative PRC in red indicates that a junction is over capacity.

All figures are based on the pedestrian lights working on each cycle which is usual when children are being taken to or from the Infant’s School on the corner of this junction.  However, for comparison, the PRC figures with no pedestrian light delays are shown in brackets.

Study HIA for Vale Council (2012) Asbri for Caerleon (2015) RPS for St Cyres  (2015)
PRC during morning peak -18.7% (7.8%) 16.2% (42.7%) 11.0% (36.6%)
PRC during afternoon peak -46.7% (-5.7%) -6.6% (15.6%) -1.5% (16.4%)
Murch Rd morning queue 27 cars 13 cars 10 cars
Murch Rd afternoon queue 70 cars 12 cars 11 cars

The Vale-commissioned HIA study shows the junction is over capacity to a greater amount and with longer queues on Murch Road in 2012 than the studies for developers show in 2015.

All studies assess the future traffic situation taking into account general growth, committed development and planned developments such as at Caerleon Rd and St Cyres.  The HIA and Asbri give projected traffic figures for 2026 and 2028 respectively while the RPS study only looks as far ahead as 2020.

What all studies show is that traffic congestion at the Cardiff Rd / Murch Rd / Millbrook Rd junction will be significantly worse in the future if these developments are completed without improvements to the highway network.  The extent of this deterioration is illustrated by the following figures from these reports.

Study HIA for Vale Council (2026) Asbri for Caerleon (2028) RPS for St Cyres  (2020)
PRC during morning peak -91.8% (-40.4%) -19.6% (18.4%) -22.7% (-0.1%)
PRC during afternoon peak –84.6% (-33.5%) -43.6% (-3.9%) -27.8% (-8.5%)
Murch Rd morning queue 94 cars 43 cars 49 cars
Murch Rd afternoon queue 181 cars 54 cars 39 cars

It can be seen that all studies predict the junction will be significantly more over capacity in the future than in 2012 or 2015.  PRESS HERE for more details and figures from these reports.

The reports for both St Cyres and Caerleon developers attempt to play down the predicted future increase in traffic congestion at the Murch Road / Cardiff Road junction.

Both the Asbri and RPS reports consider that the actual situation is likely to be between the results with and without pedestrian light delays.  They also mention that the lights at this junction are operated by a system (termed MOVA) that changes the timings based on the traffic situations as they are forming.

The Asbri report therefore concludes ‘that the existing junction is likely to have sufficient capacity to accommodate both developments ….’

The RPS report notes that this junction ‘is currently operating close to its design capacity’ and that ‘the proposed development will have an impact on this junction although it is not considered to be severe.  It concludes that the proposed development of 220 dwellings …… can be adequately accommodated on the local junctions to the site.

But these statements by the Developers’ consultants do not change the fact that these developments do adversely affect this strategic highway junction by making it more congested in future and therefore do not comply with the LDP Policies referenced earlier.

So, unless adequate highway improvements are carried out, the planning applications for both the Caerleon and St Cyres developments should be rejected on the basis of non-compliance with the LDP.


2- Disposal of Sewage from the Developments

Welsh Water advise that disposal of sewage from the Caerleon site is not a problem.

Barratt’s plans for their St Cyres development show how they intend to deal with rain water drainage and with foul water drainage.  Rain water is to be drained into a large on-site holding tank and soak-away with overflow piped to a local watercourse.  This appears satisfactory.

However, Barratts plan for the site’s sewage to be drained to an upgraded pumping station near Sully Rd then pumped back to discharge into the head of the existing gravity sewer in Murch Crescent.

But in the documents listed below Welsh Water say that the existing Murch Crescent sewer does not have adequate capacity to take the flow from the development.  At the 10 August 2017 Exhibition, Barratts were unaware of this but have now been sent these documents:-

  • SD18 – VOGC and DCWW Statement of Common Ground (May 2015)
  • ID-2312-Welsh Water  – LDP Hearing Session 9  3 March 2016

Both these state: Our local sewer network is too small to accommodate the foul flows from this development.


3- Conclusion

The Dinas Powys By-Pass Steering Group will object to both planning applications on the grounds of non-compliance with the LDP and, in the case of the St Cyres site, have made this clear to Barratts.

We suggested to Barratts a week prior to the Exhibition that they should consider delaying their planning application until access could be provided to their site from the intended by-pass, but they were reluctant as no date has yet been given for the project.


Comments sent to the Vale Council from Dinas Powys By-Pass Steering Group during August 2017

Considerations for Stage 2 of WelTAG* study into
Improving Strategic Transport for Dinas Powys

*Welsh Transport planning and Appraisal Guidance. A five stage process. The first stage was carried out by ARCADIS Consulting, reported to the Vale Council Cabinet on 31st July 2017.

The ARCADIS Stage 1 Report identifies five objectives to improve strategic transport along the corridor through Dinas Powys.  These are:-

Objective 1:         Support Sustainable Connectivity in Cardiff City Region.

Objective 2:         Facilitate and support economic growth.

Objective 3:         Improving Health and Wellbeing.

Objective 4:         Improved Safety and Security.

Objective 5:         Benefits and Minimised impacts on the environment.

At the end of the study, three options were short-listed for further work in Stage 2:

A: Do Minimum B: Multi-Modal C: By-Pass

Option A would not achieve the objectives and was included in order to compare the Do Minimum future situation with the benefits which the other options could provide.

Option B provides minimal achievement of the objectives as explained in the table below.

Option C would achieve the objectives to varying degrees.

N.B. Options B and C are unequal in the extent to which they can achieve the stated Objectives.  However, we consider that a far greater achievement of the Objectives could be obtained by a combination of feasible multi-modal improvements with a by-pass.

Objective Ref Extent to which Option B would achieve Objectives
1 The inability of this Option to significantly reduce traffic congestion along the corridor would prevent improvement of bus services and the provision of a continuous direct cycle way along the corridor.  Any increase in train usage would be limited due to lack of parking facilities at stations.  So there would be low achievement of this Objective.
2 There would be an adverse effect on economic growth due to greater congestion resulting from no increase in road or bus capacity and minimal increase in train usage.  Any improvement in facilities for cyclists and pedestrians would give insignificant benefit to economic growth.
3 Any improvement in facilities for cyclists and pedestrians would provide some health benefit but this would be mitigated by an increase in pollution along the A4055 from greater traffic congestion.
4 Increased traffic congestion along the corridor would not achieve this Objective.
5 Increased traffic congestion along the corridor would not achieve this Objective.

Options B and C both require work in Stage 2 to evaluate sub-options.  The following table lists the sub-options that we envisage need evaluation together with the outcome information which would result.

Ref Sub-Options to be Evaluated Outcome
1 Alternatives for increasing capacity of the Merrie Harrier junction Identification of option with best cost benefit.
2 Routes for road connections from by-pass to Dinas Powys and to Penarth. Identification of feasible routes and connection points plus their cost benefit
3 Alternative routes for southern part of by-pass and their connection points to existing road network. Identification of the feasible route and connection point with greatest cost benefit.
4 Feasibility of any additional parking facilities at train stations and assessment of possible increase in train passengers Identification of cost benefit of providing feasible extra car parking at train stations in corridor.
5 Feasibility of car passenger drop off /pick up zones at train stations. Identification of feasible and cost-effective drop off / pick up zones.
6 Locations and types of secure all weather cycle parking facilities at train stations Identification of feasible and most cost effective cycle parking facilities.
7 Location and size of park and ride facility adjacent to by-pass. Identification of most cost effective size and location of P & R facility
8 Measures to improve safety along Station Road to Pen-y-Turnpike route by limiting speed and improving junctions. Identification of cost effective measures to achieve objective.
9 Switching A4055 designation onto by-pass and making existing road through Dinas Powys a B road with weight restriction. Removal of HGV through traffic from road through Dinas Powys.
10 Improved bus stop facilities and/or increased bus capacity (e.g. more buses and drivers?) to take advantage of reduced traffic congestion on A4055. Identification of feasible cost-effective improvements for new facilities and/or additional buses and staff.
11 Routes for new or improved cycle ways and feasibility of schemes. Identification of feasible and cost-effective new or improved cycle ways.
12 Routes / locations for new or improved pedestrian facilities and scheme feasibility. Identification of cost effective new or improved pedestrian facilities.

Because the cost and benefit of each option will have been estimated individually, it will be possible to identify the overall cost benefit of combinations of options.  Any combination that excluded a by-pass simply could not provide overall, lasting benefit.

The results from this work will show the potential benefits to transport in the Barry to Cardiff corridor and thereby in the Eastern Vale that would be achievable for different levels of total expenditure.

This may help achieve the most beneficial combination of options possible.


There has never been a time when plans for the creation of a by-pass around Dinas Powys have moved forward in such a positive manner.

“It’s now the priority infrastructure project on the Vale Council Cabinet’s agenda and they’ve already proved these aren’t just empty words,” said Rod Harrod, Chair of Dinas Powys By—Pass Steering Group.

Cardiff Road from the Infant School Bus Stop looking towards Eastbrook

“Within a couple of days of the Cabinet being formed we had a very successful conference call with the new member for transport, Cllr Geoff Cox and his Head of Department Emma Reed.

“Then, last week, fellow Steering Group member Roger Pattenden and I  gave a one hour presentation to the Leader of the Council, Cllr John Thomas, the Vale’s Managing Director Rob Thomas and Emma Reed together with Cllr Cox, Sully Cllr and Cabinet member Bob Penrose with councillors Andy Robertson, Vince Driscoll and Rob Crowley from Dinas Powys Community Council.

“It was extremely well received and the Leader confirmed the Council’s full support for a by-pass.

“This, of course, changes the ball game completely.  First Minister Carwen Jones is on record as saying the Welsh Government will look seriously if a formal application for funding is received from the Vale Council.  I’m confident, with the stated support, this application will be forthcoming within months, not years.

Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, has agreed that whatever the outcome of the study currently being carried out by consultants Arcadis must be fully funded. The Steering Group also responded this week to his comments to the National Assembly’s Petitions Committee, much of which referred to the reaction of the previous Vale Council administration.  The Group will be reporting to the Committee again for their meeting on 27th June.

The Arcadis study is Stage 1 of the recently published new five-part Welsh Transport Planning and Appraisal Guidance (WelTAG) process. The study was funded with £15,000 paid jointly by the Council and the Welsh Government. All major development projects must go through the WelTAG process.

Arcadis’ Stage 1 report has been completed and the Vale Cabinet will shortly review it. The Cabinet  will then decide which proposed solutions to transport in the Dinas Powys corridor should be short-listed for further investigation in Stage 2 for which £60,000 has already been allocated.

“The general consensus from councillors and officers at last week’s presentation was that a by-pass would be on the short-list, if not the only project,” added Rod Harrod.

“If, as seems likely, a by-pass is selected as the preferred option from Stage 2, it would proceed on to Stage 3 for detailed and thorough appraisal. Stage 4 would be implementation  of the project.”

 The exclusion of a by-pass from the Local Development Plan would not prevent its implementation.

“On behalf of the Group, Roger Pattenden described with diagrams the potential routes for a by-pass with three options for part of the route. We also provided a list of the benefits of a by-pass and a comparison of the features of each route option. All three options start at an upgraded Merrie Harrier junction.   One is very similar to the previously safeguarded route coming down onto the Barry Road near the entrance to the Water Treatment Works and then on the existing road to McDonald’s roundabout.

 “The other two route options go to the Sully roundabout and then the suggestion is that the ‘by-pass’ is  continued along Hayes Road and across the docks via an upgraded Wimborne Road to join up with Ffordd y Mileniwm in order to benefit traffic to or from south Barry.

“Different route options offer benefits to adjacent communities to which the by-pass could be connected including not only Dinas Powys but areas like Sully and the new estates at Cog and Cosmeston as well as Lower Penarth – plus the 4,000 new houses at Barry Waterfront.

“We suggested adoption of the Vale Officers’ name for the by-pass as the Barry Waterfront to Cardiff Link Road – to emphasise how it will help transport throughout the eastern Vale.”

Mr Harrod admits there are still many hurdles to overcome but that there was, at last, some positive action.

Dinas Powys Steering Group is sponsored by the local Conservative Branch.  Members also strongly emphasised the amount of local opposition there was to planning being granted to the proposed 230 houses at the former St Cyres lower school site without alternative access from the by-pass.

“To even consider this development without proper access must be out of the question,” commented Vale Cllr Andy Robertson, who is also the new chair of Dinas Powys Community Council. “The thought of even construction vehicles using Murch Road to access the site doesn’t bare thinking about.”

Dinas Powys daily Traffic Jam on Cardiff Road near Infant School

Cardiff Road from the Infant School Bus Stop looking towards Eastbrook


Rod Harrod, Chair of Dinas Powys By-Pass Steering Group, looks on angrily at the continual log-jam of traffic near Dinas Powys Infants School

Roger Pattenden BSc MICE, a member of Dinas Powys By-Pass Steering Group, looks on in dismay at the continual log-jam of traffic near Dinas Powys Infants School


Traffic piling up on the Cardiff Road in front of Dinas Powys Infant School



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.


“In the next few years morning rush-hour traffic at the Merrie Harrier junction will have increased four times – by 407.6%,” local Cllr Vince Driscoll, a member of the Dinas Powys By-pass Steering Group, detailed this week. “This isn’t our claim. Its what the Vale of Glamorgan Council say in their Highway Impact Assessment report.

“What are they doing about it? They’re conducting another study. But they don’t say when or what the this will cover. But they do say it will be driven by the content of their Local Development Plan (LDP) which potentially makes it a total waste of rate-payers money.”

The examination of the draft LDP finishes this Thursday after which the Inspector will deliver his report, based on the hearings and the thousands of pages submitted to him, some time before the end of the year.

The outcome will guide the way Council planning and infrastructure development until 2026. It’s already running six years late.

Last October Ken Skates A.M., Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure, asked his officers to meet with their counterparts in the Vale Council. They were tasked with coming up with the ‘best solution’ to what he called the ‘unique’ problems of roads in Dinas Powys, that would be fully funded.

“However, by placing a limiting clause to make any findings fit with the LDP the Officers seem to be defying the open remit of the Minister,” added Cllr Driscoll.

“They’re saying, regardless of need and facts, the by-pass will not be considered as a potential solution because the council has excluded it from their LDP.”

Officials seem to also question the outcome of traffic surveys they commissioned in 2012 and 2013.  Although there was a recorded increase of 12% between sample dates they say ‘traffic fluctuations’ could reduce this figure to a 5% increase.  But the Dinas Powys Steering Group emphasised fluctuations go up as well as down. They say, by the same assumption, the figure could have been as high as a 19%.

The Vale Council now call the Dinas By-pass, first muted nearly 90 years ago, the Barry Waterfront to Cardiff Link Road.  The line was drawn and the land reserved

by the then South Glamorgan County Council over half a century ago. It was included in the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) up to 2011. The UDP was compiled by the previous administration.

“According to the council’s figures, rush-hour traffic is already over capacity at the Merrie Harrier but by 2026 Traffic on Redlands Road will back up to Cornerswell Road on a normal work day,” explained Roger Pattenden, another member of the By-Pass Steering Group. “Traffic at the Baron’s Court junction is currently running at 44% above capacity, increasing by over 10% in the next few years.”

The Dinas Powys By-pass Group have observed how figures deep in council reports state traffic at the Cardiff Road and Murch Road traffic lights in Dinas Powys will tail back at peak times. The report states in a few years on Murch Road vehicles will be bumper to bumper for well over half a mile. On the other side of the junction, Millbrook Road, vehicles will back up for approaching a mile.

Traffic at the Murch / Cardiff Road junction was over capacity in 2012 and the council report states it will be nearly 100% over capacity by 2026. “That’s without any of the incidents we’ve experienced recently, each of which has backed up traffic well out of Dinas Powys in all directions,” added Steve Griffiths.

“We’ve had gas leaks on Penny-Turnpike and other temporary traffic lights at Leckwith, at the Dinas Powys station bridge on the A4055 and a short distance further on at the new intersection at Cross Common. A few weeks before that there were tail-backs from the Merrie Harrier to McDonald’s roundabout because of flooding at Sully Moors Road,” said Steering Group member Steve Griffiths.
“Let’s hope either Ken Skates or the Independent Inspector will recognise the urgent need for positive and major decisions and action,”added Cllr Driscoll. “Planning, budgeting and changes to important junctions don’t happen overnight. That’s why they need to be in plans from now – not treated like a political football. These are matters that affect the whole Vale – drivers from Barry, Penarth, Sully, Rhoose and Llantwit Major all use the corridor through Dinas Powys.”



  • 1928 By-Pass first muted by residents – when between Murch Road and Cross Common were just green fields. Map is in existence.

  • 1964–66 Line of by-pass drawn by Glamorgan County Council. Map displayed on wall of Barry Docks Building – home of Vale Council Planning Department.

  • 1964–66 Alan Todd, whose family had lived in Cross Common since the early 1900s was granted planning to build a bungalow. He didn’t proceed because the by-pass line would have separated the bungalow from his farm.

  • 1971 when a current resident bought house in Cross Common Road the line of by-pass showed in the legal search.

  • 1996 – Glamorgan County Council became the Vale of Glamorgan Borough Council.

  • 2005 – Unitary Development Plan 1996 – 2011 was adopted, which included a proposal for the Dinas Powys By-Pass.

  • 2012 Labour coalition with Llantwit First gained control of Council and within months decide to scrap LDP process six years down the line and started by the previous Conservative administration. They took it back to the ‘Preferred Strategy LDP’ drawn up by the Labour / Plaid coalition in 2007.

2012 The new Council saw: ‘securing the infrastructure necessary to deliver the developments proposed in the LDP as imperative.’ But the By-Pass was removed from the plan.


•        Why isn’t the Vale Council including the By-Pass in its Local Development Plan with available funding from the Welsh Government?

•        Did the Council compare the projected traffic flow in 2026 with the option of a by-pass?

•        Is only 35% of the A4055 through Dinas Powys built up, against 90% Cowbridge High Street, because the Council want to claim the A4055 isn’t over-capacity?

•        Why isn’t the Council proposing to implement effective ways to reduce current and future congestion?  Walking and cycling are worthwhile but will have little  effect on congestion.  Buses will still be stuck in traffic and increased rail capacity is some years away.

•        Why does the Council conclude that the Barry Waterfront Link Road (Dinas Powys By-Pass) would not significantly reduce congestion and benefit everyone in the Vale?

•        Will the Council halt the sale of land at the former St Cyres Lower School until the new study is completed, in case any of the previously reserved land is needed for a by-pass?

“Is Survey just Smoke and Mirrors?” ask By-Pass campaigners

Campaigners for the long-sought By-Pass around Dinas Powys planned to ease traffic problems throughout the Vale have expressed scepticism at the joint announcement made by the Welsh Government and the Vale Council a few days ago.

For the first time Vale Officers have requested the Welsh Government pay for ‘an investigation to establish the transport issues and opportunities at Dinas Powys.’

Although they recognise on the surface this could indicate a slight move forward
members of the recently formed Steering Group set up to continue as a cross-community campaign for the Dinas Powys By-pass are concerned it could be more of a case of ‘smoke and mirrors.’ They question if it is a serious attempt to solve major transport problems in the area.

“Why wasn’t this study covering the affected area of the Vale carried out before the Council started on their grandiose scheme to build another 10,000 houses?” asked Andy Robertson. He is one of the three registered founders of the fast-growing petition urging the Welsh Government to provide the necessary funding and support for the by-pass.

The petition can be signed in English or Welsh on the website of the National Assembly of Wales. This can be accessed via the group’s website at

Alternatively there are over 20 locations around the village – from shops to take-aways, pubs, the library, Health centre, chemists and other places where the petition is available.

It’s expected the petition will grow outside the immediate area since all parts of the Vale are going to be effected.

“It’s not rocket-science to realise that with 10,000 new homes will come around 20,000 more cars with the potential of up to 40,000 extra daily trips on the already near-grid-locked roads of the Vale,” added Andy Robertson.

“Most cars will try to use the already clogged A4055 Cardiff to Barry Road and country lanes through Dinas Powys. In addition there’ll be the extra heavy goods vehicles of all shapes and sizes following their SatNavs when the A4232 Peripheral Road is completed into Cardiff Bay from the East early next year. If they have further business in Barry, or points West, once its completed they will come through the tunnel and be directed onto the A4055, thundering past Dinas Powys,” he added.Infants

“It’s a pity some people seem more intent in trying to turn the campaign into a political slanging match. We admit local Conservatives started building the campaign at a time when no other political party was acting for the community in what is probably the most important initiative in the area for generations,” said Rod Harrod who is chairing the group.

“In fact one of the Vale councillors elected to represent Dinas Powys tried to belittle our efforts, suggested in print there were other parts of Wales that also needed a by-pass, particularly in the North. One place mentioned has a population of 1,760 – half of whom live in England! The border runs down the main street.”

“We made it clear from when we organised the Public Meeting this was a community matter. When the Steering Group was in its embryonic form it became clear others had political point-scoring in mind. Instead, for the benefit of the community we’ve roped in some highly qualified people. We’d welcome others who can attribute appropriate skills,” he added.

“We’re wondering what options this new study can come up with? The Vale Council recently turned down a request for a 7.5 tonne weight restriction on this road on the grounds it would be difficult to police and the cost of signs would be better spent elsewhere.”

Members of the Steering Group also draw attention to a caveat in the Joint Statement saying the study ‘will build upon the policies and proposals set out in the Council’s emerging Local Development Plan.’

“But as the Vale Council has precluded any thought of a Dinas Powys By-Pass from their proposed LDP, surely this means that from the start they are ruling out discussion on a by-pass? Will the Council deny this?” asked Andy Robertson.

No timescale or precise funding has been set for the proposed ‘Survey.’ The Welsh
Government representatives were to make a funding request to Cabinet Minister
Ken Skates AM, Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure.

Yet within hours the Minister himself was proclaiming a ‘multi-billion pound Welsh Government infrastructure investment over the next five years,’ without a mention of anything in the Vale of Glamorgan or, in particular the transport problems along the corridor through Dinas Powys.

His words came after the officers from his department and from the Vale had met on Monday 12th December.

Hopes of the by-pass had taken a turn for the better after the Minister answered a question put to him in the Chamber by Opposition Leader Andrew R.T.Davies AM. He referred to the Dinas Powys situation as ‘unique.’ He instructed his officers to meet with their counterparts in the Vale.

The Vale Council’s Peter King, their cabinet member for Highways and Transportation, also wrote to the Minister requesting a similar meeting between their officials as a reaction to the intensity of the building campaign.

“We’re concerned both on the brief and scope of a study done at this stage. How can it be truly objective if it relates to the Council’s defined priorities in the as-yet unsigned Local Development Plan?” asked Roger Pattenden, a Chartered Civil Engineer who is also part of the Steering Group.

“Surely, for a study to be of greatest benefit to residents of the Vale it should be both independent and unhindered by any preconceived proposals made prior to a proper study?” he added.

“Shouldn’t this also mean a freeze is put on any current proposal, like the building of 300 houses on the old St Cyres Lower School site. We’re informed these would encroach, in parts, on the long-established line of the by-pass?”

Members of the group are concerned that diggers have been on site in the last couple of weeks, breaking up the foundations of the old school.

Residents living close to the site were told in a letter from the Vale Council’s Project Manager a few weeks ago

On Monday (19th) the Vale’s Major Project Manager for this site, Mark White affirmed the content of a letter sent residents living near the site that any work on the site would only be ‘on-site surveys and ground investigations’ carried out by the preferred bidder, Barratt David Wilson. The Steering Group’s qualified members question how the digging up and removal of old foundations falls under ‘ground investigation.’

“The sewerage system is just one of many problems that relate to both the current road situation and any additional housing,” commented John Antrobus, a former international traffic management consultant.

“The main sewer from the West of Cardiff and Llandough flows along the A4055 Cardiff Road. It’s known to be running seriously over-capacity and at times backs up into branches such as at the Castle Drive junction at the Murch. I’ve personally seen raw sewage push up through manholes at that junction.”

“Any new developments will only make things significantly worse.

“To replace the main sewer from the Merrie Harrier to the sewage treatment works on the Barry moors could take up to two years. Where will the current traffic go then, without any extra road capacity?” he added.

Members of the Steering Group have numerous constructive comments and questions to input into any study. But they’re concerned this will be a waste of everyone’s time and energy if it is set up with limitations on options for a solution.