None of the 31 brand new LED timer-controlled mains lights was working on the Zig-Zag path last night

As night fell last night, none of the 31 brand new LED timer-controlled mains lights lit up as they are supposed to on Penarth Marina’s  controversial Zig-Zag path

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 the steep incline beneath the new Penarth Heights houses there are multiple bends, steep gradients black-painted steel railiongs and bollards - which don't show up in the dark

In the darkness, on the steep incline beneath the new Penarth Heights houses, there are multiple bends, steep gradients, black-painted steel railings and black iron posts – which don’t show up in the dark….. Also there are 31 grey lamp bollards with lamps that apparently don’t work.

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

The ordinary street lights were on - but the £100,000 LED lighting system was out of action - yet again.

The ordinary orange street lights were on last night on Terra Nova Way  – but the brand new £100,000 LED lighting system’s 31 bollards on the Zig Zag Track were all still out of action.

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.


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  1. Paul says:

    The Vale of Glamorgan Council are clearly in the dark, when it comes public necessity and safety.
    “Remember folks, vote, vote, vote, cos your vote counts”.
    Perhaps that will “switch them on” as to what’s important…………

  2. Paul says:

    “All 47 members of the Vale of Glamorgan Council are in line to get a pay rise under the latest draft recommendations of the “Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales”.

    The salaries of ordinary Vale Councilliors will rise to £13,400 a year – with extra payments if they carry responsibilities like chairing committees or are members of the 5-strong so-called ‘cabinet’ of the council.”

    Well, the monies gotta come from somewhere, so savings must be made…..

  3. whatsoccurin says:

    During the recent hot clammy weather I took my car for service and mistakenly huffed my home up the zig zag path. At the top in the new houses I had to walk around a parked chauffered saloon car-out of the house appeared a well-known A.M, suited and booted,who was obviously been driven the the Assembly even though it would have been quicker and healthier to walk or cycle across the barrage-even more strange that he is the minister for “sport and well-being”-inferences of “do as I say, not as I do” but you would think living so close, he would have the influence to get the lights on the path working!!

    • Lm says:

      Why have lights that don’t work cost so much!
      The street lights in our street are switched off at midnight
      They are so busy spending money in Barry on beachhuts etc!
      I rang them a fortnight ago to advised that there was a blocked drain outside my house
      and guess what! Yes no one has turned up!

    • Penileaks says:

      Ah yes, this may be because our Welsh Assembly Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport, does not like them on at night because it disturbs his sleep, just like he did not like the trees and bushes, etc, at the rear of his house because it disturbed his view of the Bay and which subsequently disappeared at the VoG taxpayers expense.
      As for nice, chauffer driven cars to and from work, why not when you are local and national royalty ?
      A few years ago, there was one North Wales AM who used to (and possibly still does), have a taxi waiting outside the Assembly building at the end of a weeks hard (?) work and this would take them back up to their home in North Wales and collect them again at the beginning of the following week to bring them back to Cardiff again. No use of public transport for them, just individual taxis or chauffer driven cars.
      Public transport is for the lower classes to use, not for AM’s and the like !

      • whatsoccurin says:

        Great post-the North Wales A.M could have used the North-South “Ieuanair” link!-at least he did not do a “Bethan Jenkins” and claim an overnight stay to watch Beyonce in Cardiff (she lives in Neath!) but in fairness in Aberfan week we have to mention that it was the new Welsh Assembly-Rhodri Morgan,Ron Davies and all who belatedly recognised the distress that community had suffered and arranged appropriate compensation.

      • Penileaks says:

        The compensation finally given back to the Aberfan fund was much overdue and should never have been taken by a Labour government (George ‘ i’m a valleys boy’ Thomas, et al), and all the Labour cronies in the NCB, in the first place. Anyone who saw the excellent documentary on BBC Wales last night will know the full story and this link is also good –
        Thankfully, Rhodri Morgan & Co,. finally put the position right in the mid 2000’s, but that was some 40 years late.
        In the past I have been a Labour supporter and have grown up in my working life on construction and other industrial sites which as most will know were almost exclusively politically Labour, but when I hear of events like what apparently happened in the aftermath of Aberfan and I see the muddled and sometimes strange way that Labour run both Wales and the VoG council, it puts me off completely and they certainly will not be getting my vote again anytime soon.

      • Daft o dull says:

        He (VG) is the reason the trees were decimated on the marina hill, so he and a few other councilors(LB) could have a view.

        Glad to see in our times of austerity that the ministerial cars are still being used, it not like they are real ministers of a real cabinet in a real country, more like councillors of a designated area with the population of birmingham yet we still have 22 councils, umpteen health boards, AMs,MPs, MEPs and all the local councillors and chief execs of all the above.

  4. AK says:

    Another Vale of Glamorgan bodge job

  5. Ivor Bagman says:

    I wonder how many
    People use the path
    In the daytime
    Let alone the night.

    • Ford Prefect says:

      A huge number of people use it. It’s a vital pedestrian link between Penarth and the marina and the sports village. For a well used path to be referred to as ‘controversial’ seems very odd.

      • Sarah says:

        I agree with you Ford Prefect. I live at the top of the path and it is very well used by pedestrians and cyclists alike. It is a very popular route.

    • Martin Coffee says:

      I use it between the marina and town any hour of the day or night regardless of the lighting.

      • Joe blow says:

        If I had to suffer living down the old docks – sorry “marina” I would use it too.

    • snoggerdog says:

      there has always been a footpath in that area even before my dad was born (1903) so having a footpath there certainly is not “controversial” the first path B.T.D.B.? (wheres alan thorne) led down thru a gazed tile tunnel,the second was a gravel path up to the billy boxes (overgrown & neglected) the third was a botch job &now we have the zigzag,which is very well used also very popular to do circuits on (for car drivers only)thats people who cycle,run or walk ina circuituous stylee & yes i do like (brackets)

      • Hamish Munnypenny says:

        I remember walking through the glazed tile tunnel before it was blocked by fly tippers. After a heavy downpour it would leak for days, and large deep puddles would form. It was impossible to get all the way through without wet feet. Ironically, if it started raining, it was the only place between St. Joseph’s old church and the dock to take shelter.

  6. Teddy says:


  7. David Wilton says:

    Thanks PDN for referencing that I have been raising this issue with the Council.
    I submitted another on Monday night as I’ve still seen no action.
    I just get standard replies of ‘…here is a reference number, we will investigate…’
    For the Council to spend all that money on lighting and then not work is simply not good enough. Even if the Council blame the contractor, the Council should have water tight contracts to sort this.

  8. sjleworthy says:

    they must have been on some time in the night as i noted when i passed them. perhaps they’re doing a timed on/off policy with them, like a lot of other street lighting in Penarth?

    • David Wilton says:

      If its as simple as the timer, then whoever is in charge of the timer needs to consider a new career.
      The path is busy after work – people walking/cycling going home from work, dog walkers, going to shops etc. Darkness is kicking in around 6.30pm at present, I pass through around 7.45pm from work and it’s total darkness.

  9. Frank Evans says:

    Some of the things the Vale spend money on is baffling
    No doubt the labour run council will insist the council tax rises by the full 5% again next year. Vote lis Burnett and the rest of the Soviet style ruling inner circle out next year. Labour. Addicted to spending your money on things you don’t want.

  10. whatsoccurin says:

    Penileaks post is spot on-Excellent documentaries on BBC this week and the circumstances struck me as not dissimilar to the Hillsborough disaster, especially in the way the Establishment closed ranks. Lord Robins had no interest whatsoever in the people of Aberfan “accidents happen”-but the films do say much about professional Welshman Tonypandy who claimed to speak for Wales but saw doffing his cap to the Establishment as his priority-as for comments about Labour and the public sector unions-I would not give either the time of day!

  11. Jason Orange says:

    Wow! Has anyone heard of something called a torch? Very easy to use, cheap to run, and some double up as a decent weapon if needed…in the dark! Grow up all of you.

  12. Rachel says:

    Hope cyclists start using the ‘cycle’ path. Fed up of driving behind middle-aged men in lycra who insist on riding 3 or 4 abreast who are aware of the line of traffic held up behind them.

    • Ford Prefect says:

      Given that it is only about 100m long, I wouldn’t expect it to divert 100% of cycle traffic from the roads that you are fed up driving on. If you are so fed up, maybe get on a bike yourself. You’d be amazed at how much it improves your mood. Also worth pointing out that riding 2 abreast is advised in the Highway Code. It is the safest way to stop dangerous overtaking, which happens continuously to cyclists. Its a simple comparison between your fed-up-ness and their lives. I think most people would agree that lives matter more.

      • Ford Prefect says:

        The fact that you can find some irresponsible cyclists doesn’t alter the fact that other cyclists, who have nothing to do with them, deserve to not have their lives put at risk.

        I know plenty of irresponsible parents – does that mean I should drive past them within half a metre and put their lives at risk? – No. Does that mean I should do the same to any and all parents – no. Because that would be vindictive, dangerous and lack any logic.

      • Woowoo Wizzywoo says:

        I agree. There are as many selfish and irresponsible cyclists as motorists. However, Cardiff Central Market security have yet to deal with a motorist driving through the indoor market, but had to chase after an errant cyclist winding their way through shoppers not so long ago.
        In Penarth, we not only have to deal with cyclists on pavements, but using zebra crossings to go from one side to the other, ringing a bell all the while to warn pedestrians to stand aside.
        From an environmental point of view, as well as health considerations, cycling has benefits over car use. From a safety point of view, I would guess that a person is more likely to be in a collision involving a cyclist than with a car, even if the statistics only show reported cases that result in medical treatment.
        Furthermore, if motorists were more safety conscious, we would be less likely to see cyclists on pavements, avoiding vehicles. As it is, expect the supermarkets to introduce cycle lanes around the aisles before too lomg.

    • big ears says:

      Was only a matter of time until someone moaned about cyclists. Bravo!!!

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