DINAS POWYS BY-PASS CAMPAIGN – WE NEED YOUR HELP

The By-pass petition is going from strength to strength – but we still need more people to sign:

Has everyone in you home signed?

If not, please do so at: www.dinaspowysbypass.co.uk
Have you asked your friends, relatives, neighbours, everyone you know onLine to sign?
Will you help get more signatures door to door – even just your street?
Will you display a window poster: Sign DINAS BY-PASS PETITION

(If you can help please email or text your name and contact to comit.cymru@yahoo.com or call 02922214488).

WE’VE BEEN…

Lobbying the Vale of Glamorgan Council to:

Persuade them to put the Dinas Powys by-pass (they call it the Barry Waterfront to Cardiff Link Road) back in their Local Development Plan (LDP) and to apply to the Welsh Government for funding.

•   First Minister Carwyn Jones has said they would seriously consider the By-pass (initially proposed in 1928) if the Council applied to the Welsh Government.

•   Secretary of State for the Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates A.M.  said in October 2016 he was to instruct his staff to meet with their counterparts in the Vale to find a way to solve the Dinas Powys traffic  problem, that would be fully funded.

•  The Press Release that followed the 12th December meeting and a recent Email from the Council added a caveat – that the solution ‘fits with the Council’s Local Development Plan’ – from which the Council has excluded the By-Pass.

(The By-Pass was included in the Conservative Council’s UDP in 2009 and was in every study and report – including those commissioned by councils –  between 2007 and 2013. When Labour took control of the Vale in 2011 their Leader, Ian Moore, talked of scrapping the LDP system. Instead, when they filed their draft LDP in 2013 they scrapped the Dinas Powys By-Pass instead).

   •  On 26th and 28th January the Independent Inspector evaluating the LDP will hear the final wind-up submissions and changes. He is expected to announce his findings in Mid-April 2017.

THE VALE COUNCIL PLAN 10,000 HOUSES IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS –PUTTING 20,000 MORE VEHICLES ON VALE ROADS DAILY…40,000 MORE TRIPS EVERY DAY, the  majority through Dinas Powys.

Yes, it’s that serious.

THE VALE COUNCIL PLAN TO SELL LAND ADJOINING THE DIMAS POWYS HEALTH CENTRE TO BUILD 300 HOUSES – ADDING (AFTER CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES) 1,500 ROAD TRIPS DAILY ALONG MURCH ROAD.

IF THE HOUSES ARE BUILT FIRST THE  BY-PASS MAY NEVER HAPPEN

Very serious.

ACTION

We plan a totally peaceful, totally legal Protest PRESS / MEDIA PHOTO CALL next week. Obviously the element of surprise is paramount… but we need a small group there…just to stand with signs while interviews with TV and Press take place.

If you are keen to give real support to this campaign please call us on 02922214488 and we’ll contact you with the time and place.

We will send out further emails as the campaign progresses but please keep an eye on our website and in the local press.

BACKGROUND

For over 50 years a strip of land has been safeguarded along the proposed route of the by-pass (from the Barry Road / Green Lane turn-off over Pop Hill to Cross Common along to the Merrie Harrier). For many years a map of the lay-out has hung in the lobby of the Vale Council’s Planning Offices in the Barry Docks Building – the same building where the Inspector is holding the Deposit LDP Hearings.

                The proposed route of the Dinas Powys by-pass. The Vale Council conceded it "would partially address" traffic issues - but the decision was still "No"

The proposed route of the Dinas Powys by-pass from over 50 years ago. The previous Conservative administration in the Vale Council adopted the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) 1996-2011 and it supported the purpose of a by-pass.

In 2011, the new Labour controlled Vale Council started work on a Local Development Plan (LDP) to replace the UDP.  In order to inform their LDP, the Council commissioned various surveys and reports including a Highway Impact Assessment (HIA). But when their draft LDP was produced it failed to contain the vital infrastructure for the planned 10,000 house that the HIA indicated would be needed to avoid even worse congestion.

 Cllr Neil Moore, Labour leader of the Council said in 2012: “It is imperative that the final plan contains the right mix of development for the Vale and that it is fully supported by the necessary infrastructure.”

Cllr Lis Burnett, now Deputy Leader of the council said then: “The infrastructure was not bottomed out which led to concerns about the road network and air quality.”

Rob Thomas, then the council’s director of development services, and now its Managing Director said: “The potential for new highway corridors will have to be addressed, along with public transport.”

He added that “pinch points” in the existing road network would also be investigated and the housing developments could be phased in as improvements were made.

Five years on their new plan retains proposals for 10,000 houses but scraps the major infrastructure need of the Dinas Powys by-pass.

The Draft LDP offered for consultation in 2013 proposed dealing with the worsening traffic congestion identified and predicted in the HIA along the Barry – Cardiff corridor, with a policy of ‘modal shift’ to encourage less car use.

Councillors have said they want to encourage other forms of transport like walking and cycling with a single extra path between Cardiff and Barry. They also propose Park and Ride schemes at Barry Dock station and at Cosmeston Park but nothing in Dinas Powys. They talk about problems at various junctions including the Merrie Harrier and Baron’s Court but propose no actual improvement.

This suggestion for the Merrie Harrier has been put forward by our group to stimulate discussion and to show that improvement is possible.

In answer to a question from Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew R.T.Davies put in the Chamber in October 2016 Minister Ken Skates AM, triggered the new study, as not even minor improvements identified in the LDP are indicated for action.

An LDP Deposit Plan including the deletions and additions proposed to the Council by the Inspector following the initial Hearings was published in September 2016. But this did not include the by-pass. The final hearings on the Deposit Plan are at the end of January 2017. But no new submissions will be heard despite the Minister’s request for a further study and offer of funding.

The Welsh Government appointed Independent Inspector is expected to publish his findings in mid-April. This may or may not instruct the Council to change some parts of the LDP before it is adopted.

On 29 November 2016 a public meeting about the by-pass and the proposed 300 new house development in the Murch was held in the Dinas Powys Parish Hall.  Many local people attended and over 95% showed their support for a by-pass.  The meeting’s organisers and sponsors, the Dinas Powys Conservative Party, set up a non-political By-Pass Steering Group to campaign for the 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 www.dinaspowysbypass.co.uk.

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.

Vale of Glamorgan Council and Welsh Government meet to discuss Dinas Powys traffic issues

VALE Of Glamorgan Council officers met with counterparts from Welsh Government this week to discuss transport issues affecting Dinas Powys.


Here is a combined statement released jointly by both parties following those discussions.


It read: “Transport officials from the Council and Welsh Government met on Monday 12 December 2016 to discuss the Dinas Powys transport network.

Council officers explained that they would like to undertake an investigation to establish the transport issues and opportunities at Dinas Powys and Welsh Government officials agreed to consider putting forward a funding request for their Cabinet Secretary’s approval.

This study will build upon the policies and proposals set out in the Council’s emerging Local Development Plan.

The timescale and precise funding amount for this Study has yet to be agreed.”

MYSTERY OF THE MISSING PAPERS – returned.

The list of personal contact details of more than 200 people attending the capacity Public Meeting in Dinas Powys Parish Hall about the much-needed Dinas Powys By-Pass mysteriously disappeared from the hall at the end of the meeting.

The meeting has been called the most successful to be held in Dinas Powys for over 50 years.

Organisers were frantic because the contact details were needed to take the campaign to another level. They expected to be able to contact those who attended to form the basis of a non-political Steering Group.

“Our aim from the outset has been to work with interested parties to form a lobby organisation for the Community,” explained Clr Vince Driscoll. “From the outset we determined no group should think they could use the campaign to promote their own ends. We were looking for people who might have the skills and experience needed to help the campaign succeed.

To this end we received valuable guidance from the Chair of the Save Sully campaign.

“The theft of the document delayed the process and perhaps shone a light in corners that hardened our resolve to make this a community action.”

The missing papers attracted considerable media attention. They emphasised how villagers were the people suffering from their loss.

Result: On Monday morning 12th December the papers were mysteriously and anonymously pushed through the letterbox of the Clerk to the Community Council at the Parish Hall.

Had the person who took them suddenly had a pang of community conscience? Or had they copied them for their own ends and had no further use for the originals?

rod-harrod-andy-robertson-missing-papers

Image courtesy of Penarth Daily News.

“One thing is certain. It’s doubled our intent to make this a community project,” said Cllr Driscoll.

“We’ve had to rethink how this can be arranged. We’ve established this website and registered an official petition with the National Assembly of Wales. We urge everyone not only to sign the document but make sure their relatives, friends and everyone on their social networks also signs this petition.

“The petition is an important way those in positions of power to pay for the by-pass (the Welsh Government) can be encouraged to come to an agreement with the Vale Council to proceed with building the road as a priority for people from across the Vale. 10,000 new houses planned throughout the Vale of Glamorgan means at least 20,000 more vehicles – 40,000 trips extra on our roads, mainly the A4055 Cardiff to Barry Road.”

Welcome To the DINAS POWYS BY-PASS Website

 

The only reason for this site to exist, quite simply is that for 88 years (yes, since 1928) residents of the oldest community in the Vale of Glamorgan – the Dinas Powis Hundreds – have campaigned for a by-pass for their village. A village that has swollen from under 4.500 around 40 years ago to over 9,000 today – to become the largest village in Wales. Map Dinas Powys By-pass.

It sits midway between the largest town (Barry – pop 52,000) and the largest City in Wales, Cardiff (pop, 350,000).  Car and light vehicle road transport has increased over 400% since 1954 yet the roads connecting Dinas Powys have remained a single A Road (A4055) and four roads  that are primarily single track.