A White Design idea for improving the approach to the Esplanade seems to eliminate existing bus stops
Friends of the Earth have issued an excoriating critique of the proposals for the Labour-run Penarth Town Council’s “Penarth Town Plan” – being prepared by the Bristol firm, White Design.
The plan – currently in the process of being written – is based on White Design’s own ideas and options they put forward which elicited a scant sum-total of only 270 public responses out of a town population of 20,000.
Friends of the Earth campaigner Max Wallis
Friends of the Earth say “the proposals and polling by consultants White Design paid scant regard to pedestrians; containing nothing on proper space for pedestrians in the town centre and nothing on encouraging walking and use of public transport to the town centre.”
FoE points out that another (different) Penarth Town Plan prepared by Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners for the Vale of Glamorgan Council last year “half-admits deficiencies” and calls for a “comprehensive approach to traffic management in the Town Centre to ensure pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles can co-exist”‘.
Friends of the Earth says “Both sets of consultants seem unaware of the Active Travel (Wales) Act” which designates Penarth as a town which has to “determine a network of walking routes and cycling routes”. The organisation makes the point that these routes need to be included in a Penarth Town Plan in order to support a any bid for Welsh Government funding.
PATHS: FoE says that these routes should include the Ash Path, routes through the Merrie Harrier junction, a walking route between Cogan Station and Pont y Werin and the field-path to Cosmeston avoiding much of Lavernock Road.
Penarth’s pavements are frequently flooded says FoE
PAVEMENTS: Friends of the Earth notes that drainage is particularly poor on the pavement extensions in Penarth Town Centre and at many of the dropped curbs for road-crossings.
It says disabled bus-users need as much priority as disabled car-users and Windsor Road needs a bus stop “amongst the shops”. The current bus stops are not convenient for disabled travellers.
STREET CLUTTER: FoE says there are national policies against street clutter, which can be applied to “clear pavements of obstacles, moving poles with road-signs and utility boxes to side-walls, and reducing the numbers of poles”.
The town centre of Penarth is cluttered with unnecessary road signs and poles. There are eleven poles on this pavement.
They say “pole-borne plastic plant pots could be removed, returning to the hanging baskets, which are not – as claimed - too high for watering (use a hand-pressured container and long lance).”
FoE concludes “The removal of clutter as well as junction narrowings should provide space for seats – needed by town centre shoppers and by less able walkers needing to pause on the walking routes. The Town Council is the best body, we suggest, for running a working group to define the walking routes for purposes of the new Act and to map suggested improvements along them.”