There appears to be a backlash developing against a plan by the BBC TV Casualty production unit to close Forrest Road Penarth for filming for almost two days
Up to now the BBC and scores of other film crews have pretty-much had carte-blanche to fill the streets with trucks and catering wagons, park where they like, cone-off roads for shooting action-sequences and tell local residents to keep quiet and stay out of shot – all for just a £260-a-day payment to the Vale of Glamorgan Council .
Now, however, one of the town’s most regular visitors – the BBC “Casualty” crew – appears to be turning what might have been just a drama into a full-blown crisis.
The makers of the medical soap opera have asked for permission to film in Forrest Road – but this time are asking for permission to close the road between the junction with Westbourne Road and the junction with Plymouth Road from 07:00 on Monday 31 October 2016 through to 20:00 the following day Tuesday 1 November – a period of some 37 hours.
The Vale Council’s Operational Manager Highways Michael Clogg reported that the original request from the BBC was to close the section of Forrest Road involved for a period of 5 consecutive days – but this was turned down.
The amended proposed closure from 07:00 Monday 31 October 2016 through to 20:00 Tuesday 1 November is to enable the BBC to stage a “mock accident” .
Mr Clogg says “This reduced timeframe will obviously still incur some inconvenience to local residents albeit no immediate vehicle residential access are affected and alternate routes are available”.
The matter was referred to Cllr Peter King (Labour Cornerswell) who is the Vale ‘cabinet’ member for transport. Cllr King then wrote to local ward councillors to ask them what they thought
In his email he wrote:- “I fear that closing the road over this bridge will inconvenience a lot of folk. I am sure they would be more tolerant if it wasn’t planned to take so long.”
He added “I have to say that if I was going to have to drive a significant detour to get in and out of my own home, I would struggle to be gracious after 24 hours when the reason is only for TV filming.”
Today Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) whose ward includes Forrest Road has replied to Cllr King saying:-
“Good morning Peter . I think the inconvenience to many residents and general road users in this very well-used road for a period of 37 hours, totally outweighs the gain of £500 – or proportionally less – to the Council.
On behalf of the residents and road users I would ask you to say “no” to this request ” .