The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s controversial £350,000 Zig-Zag cycle path in Penarth Marina has been plunged back into darkness – despite the installation of a £100,000 state-of-the-art lighting system.
In early 2013 when the Zig Zag path was originally designed, the Labour-run council decided it wasn’t necessary to install any lighting on it.
On May 23rd 2013 – when the path was opened to the public – local residents, walkers and cyclists were dismayed to discover that no lighting had been included in the scheme and pointed out that the lack of lighting on the inclined pathway – with its multiple bends – made it dangerous to use after dark, particularly in the long winter months .
In August 2013 – after numerous complaints – the council promised in principle– to install lighting on the combined foot-and-cycle track …but later appeared to be backtracking and delaying the scheme.
In November 2014 the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ruling “cabinet” took the decision to fund the lighting of the path – but for almost two years nothing happened. Penarth Marina Residents Association members were informed at one point that the Vale Council was claiming to have “no legal obligation ” to install any lighting – but the Association continued to put pressure on the council to get on with the work
The Council then agreed to spend an additional £1o0,000 on lighting for the Zig-Zag within the “2015/16 financial year ” at a cost of £75,000 plus £25,000 for “design work”. However the installation did not happen. Walkers and cyclists continued to complain that the path was too dangerous to use at night .
In September this year (2016) the long-promised lighting was eventually installed and 31 LED timer-controlled mains-powered lamps were switched on – timed to stay on all night until dawn – even though, ironically, the Vale Council was at the same time switching-off a large proportion of public street-lighting across the whole of the Vale of Glamorgan .
On September 29th 2016 – four weeks ago – the 31 brand new LED lamps failed to come on. Local resident David Rhys Wilton of Plaid Cymru lodged an official complaint with the Vale of Glamorgan Council via the “Fix My Street” website
Last night – although local street lights were on – the 31 lamps on the Zig Zag path remained unlit . The Zig Zag path, criticised from the outset as a Labour Party “vanity project”, was once again in total darkness.