BY-PASS MOVING FORWARD

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

VALE COUNCIL STUDY INTO TRANSPORT ISSUES WITHIN CORRIDOR THROUGH DINAS POWYS

NOTES FROM PUBLIC CONSULTATION SESSION, Monday 13th March at Parish Hall

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.

WHY IS COUNCIL WORKING AGAINST THE PUBLIC? – DINAS BY-PASS GROUP

“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.”

MERRIE HARRIER RUSH-HOUR TRAFFIC TO INCREASE OVER FOUR TIMES

“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.”

 

THE BY-PASS SAGA

  • 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.

QUESTIONS TO THE VALE COUNCIL

•        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?

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.”