ELECTRONIC TRAFFIC-MONITORING UNIT SET UP IN PENARTH’S PLASSEY STREET

Cars on Plassey St are now being counted electronically

Cars on Plassey St are now being counted electronically

A temporary traffic monitoring system has been set up in Plassey Street, Penarth  to count the number of vehicles  using the route .

The black box which keeps the count is chained to a lampost

The black box which keeps the count is chained to a lamppost

A pair of pressure-sensitive cables has been installed across the road near the junction with Albert Road , linked to an electronic device at the roadside.

Plassey St was re-surfaced in October 2012

Plassey St was re-surfaced in October 2012

Plassey Street was once known as the roughest road in Wales because of the series of corrugations caused by innumerable buried utilities pipes and cables.

Eyewitnesses claimed this car had veered across Plassey St

Eyewitnesses claimed this car had “veered across” Plassey St

The road was re-surfaced in 2012  but since then there has been concern about the amount of traffic using the street – and its speed.

There have been car crashes at the junction with Glebe Street and complaints  about the difficulties encountered by pedestrians, mothers with pushchairs and disabled-buggy users  in crossing the road at this  point

Dropped kerbs - but the Vale Council refuses to install zebra crossings

Dropped kerbs – but the Vale Council refuses to install zebra crossings

Despite pressure from local councillors the Vale of Glamorgan Council has consistently refused to install crossings on Plassey St.

What  appear to be designated crossing points with dimpled dropped-kerbs on either side of the road are not linked with any pedestrian crossing .

A Mercedes driver making sure the cod and chips don't get too cold

A Mercedes driver making sure the cod and chips don’t get too cold

The situation was made worse by the – apparently perverse-  removal of a central pedestrian “refuge” in the middle of the road with “Keep Left” bollards which bore the brunt of many a brush with passing traffic.

Crossing Plassey St can also be made even more difficult by inconsiderate parking outside the local fish and chip shop where some customers have been seen to  back their cars onto the pavement itself whilst they go in to order  their meal.

Back in February 2011 the Vale of Glamorgan Council carried out an ” assessment” of the need for a crossing on Plassey Street at the behest of Penarth  Town Council .

However after due consideration the council decided it “did not support the introduction of a pedestrian crossing”  – but agreed to “continue to monitor road safety at this location”.

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VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL TO “RESIST FORCED MERGER” WITH CARDIFF

The leader of the Labour Run Vale Council is now head to head against the leader of the Labour Welsh Government

Neil Moore the leader of the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan  Council is now going head-to-head against Carwyn Jones the leader of the Labour-run Welsh Assembly Government

The Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council – which controls Penarth – has formally voted to confirm its  resolution to “resist a forced merger with Cardiff City and County Council

In its meeting yesterday the council asserted “Vale of Glamorgan County Borough is a sustainable Council in its own right and urges Welsh Government to allow the Vale of Glamorgan Council to continue as a stand-alone Council.”

The Vale Council has also decided that if the Welsh Government doesn’t agree to allow the Vale to continue as a self-standing authority it will enter “pre-emptive negotiations for a voluntary merger with other councils that share the same values and cultures as we do here in the Vale of Glamorgan”. [PDN Note: That means  'anyone but Cardiff'. ]

The statement now confirms that  the Labour-controlled Vale Council and the Labour-controlled Welsh Government are now on a collision course.

Sir Paul Williams - and the controversial report urging council mergers.

Sir Paul Williams – and the controversial report urging council mergers.

Despite the protestations of the Vale Council, the Welsh Government is determined to implement the provisions of the “Williams Report”  put together by Penarth Pier Pavilion-enthusiast and former NHS Wales boss Sir Paul Williams.

Williams’s report claimed £80,000,000 a year could be saved by merging the existing 22 local authorities in Wales to form just ‘10 or 12′ larger councils.

Also in yesterday’s meeting Vale councillors reviewed the  Welsh Local Government Association’s so-called “alternative” to the Williams Report .

The Association has roundly trashed the Williams Report and says of the projected £80,000,000 annual savings  “by the time any reorganisation takes place there will be very little [money] left to realise in savings” .

The Association says Williams is just plain wrong. It claims there’s no need to merge any councils in Wales at all.   In fact what’s needed is four new “combined authorities”  for North,  Mid and Central, South West and South East Wales respectively –  which would not replace the existing  22 councils, but would help them share and co-operate in the provision of local services .  That would bring the total of local authorities in Wales to 26 .

 

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FIFTY-YEAR-OLD MAN ATTACKED OUTSIDE PENARTH’S RAILWAY PUB

The Railway is a popular pub in the centre of Penarth

The Railway is a popular pub in the centre of Penarth

Police are appealing for witnesses who may have a vicious and unprovoked attack outside the Railway Pub in Penarth in the early hours of  Sunday 21st of September.

Although the attack happened a week ago – it’s only today that police have released details and issued a public appeal for witnesses

The Railway pub, Penarth

The Railway pub, Penarth

The 50-year-old victim of the attack was left with serious injuries to his face and mouth

Police say he was “targeted”  outside the Railway pub on Plymouth Road, Penarth , after he had been drinking in the pub with his wife and a group of friends and had gone outside the premises with his wife at around 1.45am

Whilst he was standing outside, he was punched once to the left side of his face and knocked over. He was helped back onto his feet by his wife.

PC Emma Fitzgerald says : “We have yet to identify the attacker but we are sure that some of the people who had been in the pub must have seen something or may know something about this attack”.

Anyone with information is asked to call South Wales Police on 101 quoting reference number 1400353386.

Alternatively Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111 or details can be given via the Crimestoppers website http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information

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DOUBLE DORMER PLAN FOR PENARTH HIGH STREET ENDORSED BY COUNCIL

20 High St Penarth Left - the existing house with Victorian single dormer. Right - the proposed new double dormers.

20 High St Penarth with Victorian single dormer and (right) the proposed new double dormers.

Against a background of concern about unauthorised modifications to traditional Victorian dormer windows in Penarth’s High St , Penarth Town Council’s planning committee has recommended approval of an application for 20 High St Penarth.  

The plan proposes removing the original Victorian single dormer window and installing a  pair of new dormer windows . Both the new dormers will be closer to the roof ridge line than the original and both will have side-glazing with slate roofs.

An earlier application for a full-width flat-roofed dormer had been refused by the Vale of Gklamorgan Council’s planning committee who had ruled it an “unacceptable and intrusive form of development”. (Penarth Town Council’s planning committee heard that other dormer developments in the street had apparently been constructed without planning permission at all.)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Cornerswell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) – who as a  Vale Councillor is also a member of the Vale planning committee –  said “This, to me, exemplifies how it should be done in comparison with earlier huge monstrosity which was refused – it actually improves the symmetry of the house visually”.  He supported the application.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) seconded Cllr Roberts and the application was recommended for approval. The Vale of Glamorgan planning committee will make the final decision.

 

 

 

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COULD POLL PREDICT UKIP CAT AMONGST PENARTH’S POLITICAL PIGEONS?

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According to a new opinion poll for the Mail on Sunday  UKIP – the UK Independence Party – appears to have further increased its support in Wales – building on its achievement in the Vale of Glamorgan in the European Elections in May this year. 

UKIP say that if the current performance is maintained the party says it  “may be well placed to challenge Labour Parliamentarians in so-called ‘safe seats’, who up until now have had no serious opposition” and says if this trend continues into and beyond the General Election, “a scenario could emerge in which UKIP form the Official Opposition in the Welsh Assembly”.

A continued surge in UKIP support could also  be a game-changer in the Cardiff South and Penarth constituency – a seat which no party other than Labour has ever held and which is regarded as one of the safest Labour seats in Britain.

Alun Michael won with

Alun Michael won the seat for Labour with 17,262 votes in 2010

Alun Michael's protege Stephen Doughty polled only 9000 votes

Alun Michael’s protege Stephen Doughty polled only 9,193 votes in 2012

In the 2010 General Election Labour held the seat with 17,262 votes –  but in the 2013 by-election only 9,193 votes were cast for Labour. It was Labour’s lowest-ever vote in the constituency.

In that same 2012 Cardiff South and Penarth by-election UKIP  came-in 5th, polling 1,179 votes but increased its share of the vote by 3.5% . the Conservatives’ share of the vote fell by 8.4% – polling only 3,859 votes.

In May 2014 however, UKIP  delivered a crushing blow to the other political parties in the European Elections in the Vale of Glamorgan by topping the poll – leap-frogging the Conservatives and the Labour Party to take first place. The UKIP Euro result pushed Conservatives down into  second place (they were top in the Vale in 2009) .  Labour came in a poor  third (they were second in 2009). Plaid Cymru ended up again in fourth place.

As yet UKIP has not announced a prospective parliamentary candidate for Cardiff South and Penarth.

The new poll showing the surge in UKIP support in Wales was carried out by Survation for the Mail on Sunday. Sample size has not been provided.

 

 

 

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CARDIFF HALF-MARATHON SET TO ‘SEAL OFF’ PART OF PENARTH ON SUNDAY OCT 5TH

The Mermaid roundabout at the Custom House already warns of next weekend's event

The Mermaid roundabout at the Custom House already carries warning of  next weekend’s event. The bronze statue was designed by Roger Fickling and was the logo for the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation.

A week tomorrow – Sunday October 5th – getting out of and particularly into Penarth via Penarth Road, the Baron’s Court junction and Tesco roundabout could be a problem ….because it’s marathon time again,.

21,000 runners are expected to take part this year

21,000 runners are expected to take part this year

Road restrictions will be force  to allow the Cardiff Half Marathon to be run through Penarth Marina. Even though the race is seven days away, warning notices have already  gone up around the  Marina to alert people to the forthcoming road closures next Sunday Oct 5th.

Notices are warning Penarth residents of the race in 7 days time

Notices are warning Penarth residents of the race in 7 days time

Penarth Road will be closed to all traffic as will the Baron’s Court Junction, and the northern end of Windsor Road from Baron’s Court to the  Tesco roundabout. Traffic can exit Penarth (towards the Merrie Harrier) but cannot not enter Penarth via this route.

The runners will turn down into the Marina at the Tesco roundabout and head towards the Cardiff Barrage – but Dock Hill will also be closed to traffic because the runners will be going around the “Mermaid Roundabout” at the Custom House before head off across the barrage. There are also likely to be restrictions on boat movements through the locks of Cardiff Barrage so that the runners are not inconvenienced.

The runners begin the marathon in outside Cardiff Castle and runners then head down past Cardiff City Stadium on the way to Penarth Marina and then  head across the barrage to to Cardiff Bay – around Roath Park Lake and  finish at Cardiff Civic Centre.

IMG_2845The race starts a week tomorrow Sunday October 5th with the wheelchair race beginning at  8:50am  and the rest of the field will start at 9:00am.

Cones at Dawn last year. The Cogan Spur and Penarth Road were closed

Not a soul to be seen. The Baron’s Court junction was totally traffic free last year. The Cogan Spur and Penarth Road were closed

The roads affected on October 5th are as follows :- 

The Cardiff Half-marathon race route through Penarth

The Cardiff Half-marathon race route through Penarth

From 08:00 to 11:00am :-

  • Cogan Spur A4055 closed in both directions
  • Windsor Road/Cogan Hill A4160 between Baron’s Court and the Tesco Roundabout closed to South East bound traffic coming into Penarth. Westbound traffic can still exit Penarth by heading north west.
  • Barry Road A 4055 from junction with Penarth Road to Merrie Harrier junction Llandough closed to north east bound traffic. (Traffic from Penarth can still exit via the Merrie Harrier junction  )
  • Llandough Hill  will be closed in both directions for 210 metres.

From 08:45 to 11:00am  :-

  • Marconi Avenue: closed in both directions – including the roundabout at Terra Nova Way
  • Terra Nova Way : closed in both directions along its entire length
  • Penarth Portway :  closed in both directions including the roundabout at the junction with Terra Nova Way
  • Paget Road (or Dock Hill ) closed in both directions  including the “Mermaid” roundabout

 

 

 

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ILL-FATED PENARTH HEADLAND LINK NOMINATED AS TOWN PLAN “FAVOURITE”

How the Penarth Head walkway (it was supposed to be a cycleway too) would have looked had it ever been built.

How the Penarth Head walkway (it was supposed to be a cycleway too) would have looked had it ever been built. The Vale of Glamorgan Council had wrongly assumed it owned the entire foreshore. It doesn’t.

The controversial, wildly-expensive and ultimately-doomed Penarth Headland Link  (a proposal to build a steel deck skirting around Penarth Head, supported by a succession of cantilevered concrete piles driven into the sandstone bedrock)  has emerged as the most-popular single idea for “improving  Penarth” in the public consultations held on the forthcoming Penarth Town Plan.

White Design Associates began consulting residents on the Esplanade during the 2013  Summer Festival

White Design Associates began consulting residents on the Esplanade during the 2013 Summer Festival

The Penarth Town Plan (or “Penarth Town Place Plan” as it’s called in ‘local-authority-speak’)  is set to be unveiled at a public presentation in the Paget Rooms on Tuesday evening September 30th at 19:00  (18:30 for preliminary tea and biscuits). (See PDN http://wp.me/p2MG3c-4Xz)

The “public consultations” on the plan were carried out in 2013 by Bristol consultants White Design under contract to Penarth Town Council and took the form of questionnaires which members of the public could fill in . They could then cast their “vote” into a “ballot box” at Penarth Library or submit a response on a postcard direct to Penarth Town Council.

Despite considerable publicity during the summer and autumn of 2013 – and several postponements of the “closing date” – only 270 responses were received.

Penarth Town Plan officer Rob Callaghan

Penarth Town Plan officer Rob Callaghan

This week the Headland Link was described as being “hugely popular” in these responses  by Town Plan officer Rob Callaghan in a presentation to Penarth Civic Society. (However, at the same meeting the entire raison d’etre for having a Town Plan at all came under fire)

When the Penarth Headland Link Scheme was first conceived it had been argued it would save people the inconvenience and difficulty of walking along the beach from the Cardiff Bay Barrage to Penarth Esplanade.

The Headland Link would save cyclists having to struggle up to the summit of Penarth at St Augustines

The Headland Link would save cyclists having to struggle up to the summit of Penarth at St Augustines

It would  also have saved cyclists the effort of having to climb to an altitude of 200 feet above sea level to crest the summit of the Penarth escarpment.

The Headland Link was intended to provide easy “level-access” to Penarth’s sea front.

The damaging effect the project it might have on tourism – by visitors “by-passing” Penarth town-centre – was never considered.

An artist's impression of the Penarth Headland Link or Walkway as it would have looked from the air

An artist’s impression of the Penarth Headland Link or Walkway as it would have looked from the air

The Penarth Headland Link/Walkway  had its  genesis under the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation , the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Welsh Assembly Government. It was backed by the then MP for Cardiff South and Penarth Alun Michael. Surviving documents show it was plan which was never properly thought through, never properly costed – and on which the Vale of Glamorgan Council had neglected to carry out even the most elementary research .

The undulating walkway over the sea was to be shared between pedestrians and cyclists

The undulating walkway over the sea was to be shared between pedestrians and cyclists (Artist’s impression courtesy of Soltys Brewster/ Patel Taylor)

Millions of pounds of public money were wasted on development costs alone. The Vale of Glamorgan Council received an initial down payment of £7.5 million from the Welsh Government to get the Penarth Head Link project going  – money stripped out of the prudently-managed assets of the now-defunct Cardiff Bay Development Corporation

The Multi-Storey car park on the right became part of Penarth's Esplanade - but was demolished to make way for the Penarth Head Link. The Link was never built.

The Multi-Storey car park (on the right of the photo) became part of Penarth’s Esplanade – but was demolished to make way for the Penarth Head Link. The Link was never built.

Penarth’s now much-needed Esplanade multi-storey car park was arbitrarily and unnecessarily demolished to make way for the projected Headland Link – even though the car park was barely 30 years old .

Claims that the structure of the car park was “unsafe” were unsubstantiated. The Welsh  Government criticised the Vale Council for not providing any justification for its demolition. The  promise of a replacement car park was never fulfilled.

The key extract from the report

The Penarth Head Walkway's narrow steel deck would have been supported on massive angled concrete pillars

The Penarth Head Walkway’s narrow steel deck would have been supported 20 feet above the sea on massive angled concrete pillars

The projected costs of the Headland Link scheme multiplied exponentially until they reached a  staggering £23,500,000.

The entire project finally ran off the rails when it was discovered – at the eleventh hour – that the Vale of Glamorgan Council had assumed  that it actually owned the entire foreshore on which the structure would have been built – but had neglected to verify this.

It turned out that the Vale Council’s blithe assumption was wrong.  Two tracts of the foreshore are privately-owned and would need to be compulsorily-purchased in a complex, expensive and time-consuming process.

The Penarth Headland Link with its cantilevered legs and its narrow steel deck on which pedestrians and cyclists would have had to jostle for space 20 feet above the sea – now lay  dead in the water .Not a single ounce of concrete was laid and nothing was ever built.

The only thing left behind was a large black hole of missing public money.

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