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.
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.
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.
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. “
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.”
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 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 tweeted later :-