Traffic volume in Penarth will be increased by housing developments in Sully and the lack of a Dinas Powys by-pass

Impass: Traffic volume in Penarth will be increased by housing developments in Sully and the lack of a Dinas Powys by-pass

The Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council has dismissed renewed calls to build a by-pass to relieve traffic jams in Penarth’s neighbouring village of Dinas Powys  – congestion which is set to increase and spread to Penarth with new housing developments in the local area.

The council has told Penarth Assembly Member  Andrew R T Davies (Conservative South Wales Central)  that  “provision of a bypass scheme is not considered to be required”  – despite years of campaigning by the local community and civic leaders.

Despite the best efforts of local campaigners seen here with Penarth AM Andrew R T Davies and Vale MP Alun Cairns (both left) - the Vale Council has dismissed the idea of a Dinas Powys By-Pass

Despite the best efforts of local campaigners, seen here with Penarth AM Andrew R T Davies and Vale MP Alun Cairns (both left), – the Vale Council has dismissed the proposal for a Dinas Powys by-pass

Alun Cairns (Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan), who is Secretary of State for Wales in the UK Government, demanded that Vale Council should “get behind the community”  and that the by-pass was the “number one issue on the doorsteps of Dinas  Powys”  whilst Andrew R T Davies –  who is leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly –  expressed his  disappointment at the decision.

The letter signed by Cllr Lis Burnett sent on behalf of Cllr Peter King advocated that Dinas Powys residents should get on their bikes

The letter signed by Cllr Lis Burnett sent on behalf of Cllr Peter King appeared to suggest that Dinas Powys residents should forget about a by-pass and get on their bikes instead

Andrew R T Davies has questioned the “no by-pass” decision – pointing out that the council has recently given approval to a large number of housing developments in the local area, which are going to increase the number of cars on the local roads.

Drivers get plenty ot time to admire the scenery of Dinas from their stationary vehicles

Drivers get plenty of time to admire the scenery of Dinas from their stationary vehicles

The Welsh Labour Government’s First Minister Carwyn Jones, had earlier said that his government would be open to considering plans for a bypass –  but that the Vale of Glamorgan Council had not submitted any by-pass scheme .

Davies said “The decision to flat-out reject a bypass for Dinas Powys is a kick in the teeth for hardworking commuters, plenty of whom have to endure chaos on their way to and from work on a near daily basis. “

The notoriously expensive and rarely-used bus lane alongside the busy main road from Dinas Powis. Not even buses use it.

The notoriously expensive exclusive bus lane which the Labour Vale Council built alongside  the busy main road from Dinas Powis. Not even buses now use it.

On Cllr Burnett’s proposal that commuters might consider abandoning their cars and get on their bikes instead, Andrew R T Davies says “For the Labour-run Vale Council to suggest to people they should simply consider walking or cycling to work is not good enough and sadly demonstrates an administration which is out-of-touch with the feeling of the local community.”

Andrew R T Davies has pointed out that “the congestion doesn’t just impact those who live in Dinas Powys, it has a far wider reaching impact on commuters from areas such as Barry, Sully and Penarth where there has recently been approval for a number of controversial large-scale housing developments.”

Cllr Vince Driscoll of Dinas Powys COmmunity Council (left) backs the by-pass plan - but it's been rejected by Vale 'cabinet' members Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) and Cllr Peter King (Labour Cornerswell) (centre and right)

Cllr Vince Driscoll of Dinas Powys Community Council (left) backs the by-pass plan – but it’s been rejected by Vale ‘cabinet’ members Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) and Cllr Peter King (Labour Cornerswell) (centre and right)

Dinas Powys  Community Councillor  Vince Driscoll said “For a Cabinet Member to suggest that a few walking and cycling schemes will solve the problem of congestion in the village is frankly ridiculous.  Cllrs Lis Burnett and Peter King are effectively telling residents who are concerned about the safety problems excessive traffic can bring – ‘on your bike, we’re not interested’ – which is unacceptable.”

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. The Vale Council conceded it “would partially address” traffic issues – but the decision was still “No”

The Vale of Glamorgan’s Member of Parliament, Alun Cairns, said local people would be “angered that abrasive Council Cabinet Member Lis Burnett has dismissed their concerns with a glib suggestion that they walk or cycle instead.”

Looking forward to next year’s council elections – when the current Labour administration in the Vale of Glamorgan  Council faces the prospect of losing power –  Cairns said the council “must  ensure that the proposed route of the bypass is kept clear of new housing development, so that a future Council has the opportunity to take action if they [the current Labour administration] will not.”

FOOTNOTE:  Although Cllr Peter King (Labour Cornerswell), who is the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ‘cabinet’ member for transport,  was evidently too busy to sign the letter rejecting the Dinas Powys By-Pass, he has not been too busy to look after a stray pigeon (or “pidgeon” as he spells it).

Cllr King's "pidgeon"

Cllr King has named his  “pidgeon” Paul.

Cllr King's tweet about the "pidgeon" (sic) which he has rescued.

Cllr King’s tweet about the “pidgeon” (sic) which he has rescued.

Cllr King tweeted  later :-

Cllr King says he's called the rescued "pidgeon" Paul.

Cllr King gives Twitter readers who want to know “what nxt”, an update on the “pidgeon”.

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  1. Mark Foster says:

    If you feel stressed out by articulated trucks driving through Dinas Powys you can always wind down by staying at Lis’s cottage in the Scottish Highlands. Its fully booked out right now for around £700 per week but you can get it in September for £550. Just phone Lis on 029 2040 8485 or Mobile. 07736 771017 as it says in her ad.

    Also, “Our charges have been dramatically reduced during the Winter in addition we offer our snow and ice guarantee.”

    How she finds time to organise this when she has to attend cabinet meetings I don’t know.

    • Tim Hughes says:

      The very best thing that can be said about this contribution is that it is 100% irrelevant.

      • James Stothert says:

        if dinas Powys bypass is approved, hopefully the great crested newts that live in the old cress pond running through
        The planned route can be re situated. I have see many over the years and cant see the reason for spending millions when there are far easier ways to solve traffic problems in one small village.

  2. Kevin Mahoney says:


    1) As has been put forward in statements to council before by the Vale of Glamorgan planning committee by officers of the planning department.

    The extra traffic created by the building of 10,000 new houses in the Vale is to be mitigated by encouraging people to walk cycle and catch the bus or train to work. This of course is the same planning department which endorsed the highways traffic report by Taylor Wimpey that 500 new house in Sully would result in just an extra 13 cars on the road at peak traffic hours and was the response from officers when I questioned the figure at the planning application hearing.

    2) The Vale of Glamorgan have been quite happy to just move designated settlement boundaries when it suits them without batting an eyelid, Cog Rd in Sully being just one such example.

    3) Each and every time that I have heard a Vale council officer bang on about cycling, walking or catching a bus to work I have asked how did they travel to work at the council that morning and without exception there has been an embarrassed silence before the admission that they travelled to work in their car.

    My follow up request that all council building car parking areas be closed if travelling to work by bike foot or bus are the options promoted by the very same officers and cabinet members, is also normally meet with a gasp of indignation by the hypocrites expecting everybody else except themselves not to travel to work by car.

    I think it should be monitored exactly how Lis Burnett and Peter King travel to council and site meetings, it of course would be pretty hypocritical if either travel by car or Peter’s motorbike given the content of this letter.

    One thing that I do agree about is that a bypass would only be moving the problem to another route which would then also snarl up the over capacity Harriers and Barons Court junctions.

    I suppose the intelligent thing to do would be to sort out the road infrastructure before building another 10,000 houses in the Vale.

  3. Steve says:

    Excellent. There is no need for a bypass. There is a need for people to see beyond the motor car as the default mode of transport for such short distances to the capital. There is work to be done to improve public transport, which is more important and less costly and damaging than excessive roadbuilding. Building more roads has never solved the problem of traffic and never will.

    • Jeff dyer says:

      Correct. A bypass would make no difference to Penarth traffic expect encourage more people onto the roads, inevitable hitting the Merrie Harrier and Barons Court junctions.

      A bypass would obviously make trying to get out of Penarth worse.

    • Paul says:

      Steve, why do you assume these journeys are short and to Cardiff ? Public transport is appallingly managed and unreliable st the moment. Explain how to get via public transport to Bridgend from Penarth or cowbridge or anywhere other than Cardiff city centre. Then explain how to do it if you work shifts. People use card because there is no alternative in some cases, you need to look beyond your own travelling and commute. People are not going to cycle from Cardiff to Newport or Swansea everyday but a lot of people work in one place and live somewhere else,

      • Steve says:

        I would assume it since the 2011 census figures showed average commute to be 15km (9miles). It’s really not that far. Some mornings I cycle to Barry and back to work in Llandaff without much problem or delay. When I started riding there was no way I could imagine even entertaining that possibility, now it’s easy. Yes it takes a bit of effort and dedication but there are the other benefits along with getting to work more quickly than by car.

        As for your other points, I’m confused, If you’re going to Bridgend or Cowbridge from Penarth you’d be heading away from Dinas Powys via Sully (I would), which is free of traffic most mornings. If you work shifts, you probably aren’t part of the traditional ‘rush hour’ anyway?

        My point was that road building is ridiculously expensive, and the money might be better spent improving public transport – which I agree is not up to standard and needs a good kick up the backside. Buses suffer as a direct result of increasing private motor use, remove a few of the cars and buses would be more reliable as there would be less traffic – it’s a right catch 22. A few years ago I broke my wrist and used the train everyday. From Penarth it was fine most mornings but I know that is not always the case.

        What we need is parallel schemes – walking, cycling, public transport AND roads. Then everyone gets moving. If we got SOME of the cars off the road, there would be enough space for those for whom there is no other option – elderly, longer journeys, shifts e.t.c No-one is suggesting everyone should ditch the car, that’s totally daft.

        To try and prioritise or alleviate traffic problems only serves to encourage more motor use. It is partly up to us to make a choice. Change the way we choose to travel or sit in traffic and put up with it.

    • aahjnnot says:

      Completely agree. From a Penarth perspective, money would be much better spent improving traffic throughput at junctions than building new roads across pristine countryside.

      But it’s pretty crass of Lis Burnett to suggest that people should walk or cycle between Barry, Dinas, Sully and Cardiff when the only cycle lane connecting these places is between Cardiff and Penarth, and this path falls almost entirely outside the Vale.

  4. Colin Davies says:

    It really annoys me the comments made in this case by Steve about about people seeing past the motor car. Whilst I agree with the principals, in reality this is not possible. Public transport is shambolic at best and to ask people to use more sustainable methods of transport whilst commendable is very very unrealistic. As I commented on a previous thread on the same topic, most people either can’t cycle the 20 mile round trip (or further) to work daily, or simply just don’t want to. From October to March as well as the weather in the main being awful it’s also dark during the main commuter time. Public transport is very unreliable and growing ever more costly plus removed any flexibility of being able to “pop to the shop” after work. It’s just simplistic and naive in the case of the Council to suggest people using more sustainable transport is the answer, it may well be one day, but not in our, or our children’s life time, until then we’ll all be stuck in our cars on Redlands and Cardiff Road.

    • Jeremy says:

      Open you eyes… a considerable chunk of traffic congestion is to and from the city centre…there is ample public transport to Cardiff city centre from Penarth/Barry/Dinas but people insist on using the car

      • Colin Davies says:

        It doesn’t matter where the traffic is heading to or from, the bottom line is public transport isn’t flexible and riding a bike quite often isn’t safe or a large amount of people aren’t fit enough to cycle or their work place doesn’t have facilities to change or shower once they get there. It also boils down to the fact that most people don’t want to be crammed onto stuffy trains and busses when they can sit in the comfort of their own car, not having to listen to the inconsideration of loud headphone music or the inane droning of other commuters…

    • Steve says:

      OK. Lets put it another way.
      I get it. Some people have to drive. It’s unavoidable. For some people it’s not possible to use other methods. This will always be true. But the fact remains, they’re not going to build a bypass and even so, you’d just be the fastest guy to get the back of the next queue once the traffic is displaced.

      So why aren’t regular motorists heavily campaigning for other alternatives?

      Every male between 18-50 who doesn’t mind running the gauntlet of the roads on a bike is one less person in front of you in the queue.
      Every person who says that they would cycle but don’t feel it is safe could be one less person in the queue if there were better segregated routes.
      Every child you can get to walk safely to school or use a school bus could be one less car in front of you in the school run.
      Every improvement you can force councils, public transport companies, governments to make to buses, trains, water taxis, trams, whatever, could mean less people in front of you in the queue.

      You should be screaming it from the rooftops, campaigning for improvements to other methods of transportation so that some people can use them.
      They will just not be in front of you in the queue.

      That’s how you reduce congestion. That’s how you get your roads back.

  5. Concerned Citizen says:

    It would be a jolly good idea to remove that ridiculous bus lane running up to the Merrie Harrier for a start? The few buses who do actually travel along there are mostly stuck in traffic for a mile or more waiting to get to their short bit of bus lane. They create far more pollution stuck there with their engines running, not to mention delays to the passengers, than is ever saved by that silly, short piece of bus lane. Bus Lanes are great a) where there are several, and frequent, buses and b) when they can run to a sensible end point. Neither situation pertains in this case and it has just added to the congestion from Dinas to the Merrie Harrier

  6. Max Wallis says:

    “actively promoting cycling and walking”, oh yeah! Will they at last plan and build the long-proposed walk/cycle path from the Murch/Castle estate over the couple of fields to the Merrie Harrier junction? They’re to build houses at one end but still claim they don’t know the owners of the fields, where they just need to secure a right-of-way.
    The council has a problem of officers and consultants who want to build highway-scale cycle paths. They’ve just costed a route from Bryn-y-Don playing fields to the Biglis (McDonalds) roundabout at £3 million, including land purchase! Yet there’s already a right-of-way over most of the route (apart from one field) which just needs upgrading into a cyclable path. Like the Ely trail from Penarth Road to Leckwith, for example.
    Joining the Much estate to Llandough hospital, then down to Cogan and across Pont-y-Werin would do far more to provide for people to cycle than their over-engineered path Pencoedtre to Culverhouse Cross via Wenvoe. So why don’t they get on with it? The previous VoG regime had an obstinate official backed by Cllr Jeff James, who insisted the route from Dinas Powys to Pont-y-Werin was via Penarth, over the top of the Murch and the Ash Path, through to Arcot St and down the Billybanks’ zig-zag path. In the 4 years since they finished, the VoG council with Lis Burnett as Transport Cabinet member have never repudiated the old regime’s nonsense.

  7. bizzilizzi says:

    Walk or cycle – Cardiff -to Barry 10 miles, -to Dinas Powis 4.7 miles,-to Sully 5.8 miles.
    Average cycle speed 10 mph, walking 3.5 mph but don’t forget the traffic as roads would still have to be negotiated and the weather.

  8. Mgg says:

    Biggest problem with transport in Penarth ? Deliveries flouting the law tescos, Tec restaurant , bar 44 delivery on the pavement , taxi firm in Albert rd, potato delivery to chip shop passed street , shall I go on ?

  9. Frank Evans says:

    I learn good English I learn it from a booook! A pidgeon, a rarebit, a big dog, a fat kat, I learn good councillor studies also, I also learn this from a booook. This is why I not time to do good job and sign name.

  10. Jeremy says:

    No, we don’t need to tear up any more green space for a by-pass or any other sort of road. There are other options. For a start, it’s time towns and cities follow London’s lead and introduced a congestion charge. Another option – raise the driving age from 17 to 21. Introduce a tax for households with a second/third car. Above all, get off your backsides and walk or cycle. That’s why we have legs. Or you can catch a bus and train – there are plenty of them. Society has become unbelievably lazy. Simple.

    • Joe blow says:

      Well Jeremy, as my 18 year old daughter has a job in Odeon where she often finishes around midnight, the idea of not having a car would not go down well. As for a tax on 2nd and 3Rd cars, it’s already there. Vehicle excise duty. Payable per vehicle.

      Not so simple maybe.

      • Stephen H says:

        I don’t think the traffic around midnight is the issue…it’s during the mornings and evenings. Have a look at the roads during these periods. It’s a nightmare and getting worse each year.

      • Joe blow says:

        Stephen. Try again.

        She’s 18. If the driving age was raised to 21 she would not be able to work where she does.

  11. Peter Church says:

    Barry is the 5th biggest town in Wales. 3 main ways to get to it:
    Culverhouse Cross; forget it, queues two/three miles long every morning and worse in the evening. Not helped by 200 houses holding the whole of Port Road to ransom, shame on the Vale Council for allowing this.
    Barons Court via Dinas Powys; queues again right through Dinas Powys.
    Sully via Penarth; forget it, queues in the morning/evening.

    The main problem is Barry doesn’t have a clear route to the motorway, yet money spent in Newtown/Llandeilo/Brecon on bypasses that just don’t get used, this is the fault of the WAG keeping Mid Wales sweet!

  12. Ford Prefect says:

    Obviously there are exceptions – elderly, shiftworkers etc, but anyone who chooses to drive from Penarth or Dinas into Cardiff daily should be charged extra. Charged for the burden they are putting on the roads, charged for the burden they are putting on the NHS, and charged for the direct harm (read, 29000 deaths / year) they are causing to their fellow citizens with their deliberate and selfish choices.

  13. AK says:

    I have been doing a bit of running lately, up the Taff Trail, and it is increasingy being used as a safe, easy commuter route into Cardiff (and maybe on to Penarth). The difference is that the cyclists do not have to share the route with cars, lorries and buses.

    I cycled in Cardiff Bay the other day, and felt very unsafe as the cycle route took me out past parked cars and into the middle of the road. And what idiot thought it was a good idea to have a cycle lane going against one way traffic in the centre of Penarth!.

    Cycle routes would be used more if they were designed solely for cycles and pederstrians. Free car parking for employees should be made a taxable benefit in kind.

    Two days off yesterday and today – and my car stays in the garage. I have legs, I have a bike, and I have buses and trains.

    • Kevin Mahoney says:

      If you’re referring to Arcot St AK, then it was the Welsh assembly prompted by the sham government funded so called charity Sustrans that bullied the Vale into the ludicrous and dangerous cycle lane against the flow of traffic there.

      I contacted the Vale highways department as soon as it appeared, offering my opinion that it was ill thought out and dangerous. I was astounded to be told by the Vale officer on the end of the phone that they knew it was dangerous and had lodged a letter saying exactly that to protect themselves in the future.

      But the Welsh Assembly government insisted that the cycle lane go there or they wouldn’t give the grant to fund the other alterations to the stretch of road ( which are also ludicrous in my view).

      Disappointingly the Vale just carried on with the alterations anyway in order to get their hands on assembly money.

      • Ford Prefect says:

        I fail to see how it is dangerous – car drivers are used to having oncoming traffic on the right hand side. There are signs and paint all over the place making it obvious. Why are they suddenly going to take leave of their senses and start driving into oncoming traffic?

  14. AK says:

    Because they are in a one way street!

    If a car parks there, and the driver looks at the arrows sending them uphill because it is a one way street, the last thing they expect is to see a bike coming towards them – in a one way street.

    Penarth drivers are bad enough, without confusing them by one way streets which aren’t. (Judging by today’s ‘bad parking’ post, some drivers don’t even know what is a one way street)

    I think that particular stretch would be safer without the bike lane – there are plenty of safer alternative routes onto Windsor Road.

    I stick firmly to my earlier comment:

    ‘what idiot thought it was a good idea to have a cycle lane going against one way traffic in the centre of Penarth’.

    Now we know – idiots in our Local Authority and WAG.

  15. Tim Hughes says:

    Having attended a number of lectures given by Sustrans I am aware of their credentials in relation to cyclesways. Perhaps you would like to list your experience in this area so that readers could judge on the weight to give your opinion.

Comments are closed.