Back from the dead – the Penarth Headland Link Scheme has now appeared as a “late amendment” on the Vale Council’s  draft map of proposed “Active Travel routes” for the town . [ It wasn’t on the Active Travel Map for Penarth original map published by the council on its website last week]

The Mark II Version of the Labour Party’s favourite vanity project – the ill-conceived Penarth Headland Link  on which millions of pounds of public money was wasted first time around –  seems to have survived the change in administrations in the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

The contentious scheme unexpectedly re-appeared yesterday in a “late amendment” to consultative map of proposed so-called “Active Travel Routes” for Penarth presented as a report to the first meeting of the new  Conservative-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council cabinet.

Cllr Geoffrey Cox has cabinet responsibility for Neighbourhood Services and Transport.

Cllr Geoffrey Cox told cabinet members yesterday that  some pre-consultation on some elements of the Active Travel Scheme across the Vale of Glamorgan had “already taken place at certain locations” [ although not for the Headland Link].

The maps issued in the cabinet agenda were, he said,  “indicative maps of possible routes” but confirmed that the Penarth Headland Link [ i.e. the Mark II Version of the Headland Link] was now being included in the overall Active Travel scheme which will now go to further public consultation  .

Cllr Cox said it was necessary to begin the “formal consultation” no later than June 15th 2017 . Money to carry out the work – he said – would be coming from the Welsh Government’s “Welsh Transport Fund”.  

The consultation has to be completed and the conclusions  submitted to the Welsh Government by November 3rd 2017 – a timescale which the cabinet approved. Details of how the public of Penarth will be consulted on the Mark II Headland Link Scheme have yet to be announced.

How the Mark 1 version of the Penarth Head pedestrian walkway/cyclepath would have looked had it ever been built. The scheme collapsed in acrimony  without a single ounce of concrete being laid when  estimated costs reached a staggering £22,000,000. Millions of pounds of public money was wasted.

The original  (Mark 1) Penarth Headland Walkway scheme would have erected a aerial cycle path/ aerial pedestrial walkway supported above the high tide by angled concrete stilts driven into the bedrock along the foreshore from Penarth Pier to the C ardiff Bay Barrage around Penarth Head.

When construction estimates exceeded £22,000,000 the Mark 1 Penarth Headland Walkway scheme collapsed in acrimony – with not an ounce of concrete having been laid. However the failure of the ill-considered scheme resulted a massive bill which had to be met by Vale Council Tax payers. To make way for the scheme, the Penarth Esplanade Multi-Storey Car Park was demolished without a public consultation – and was never replaced.

The Mark II version of the Penarth Head Walkway would not be supported on stilts –  like its predecessor  – but would be built as a rock  causeway running along middle of the foreshore around Penarth Head. It would be flooded at high spring tides. 

The initiative for a “Mark II” version of the Penarth Headland Link was first floated out in a public meeting held in Penarth Pier Pavilion on November 24th 2015 – but little has been heard about the embryo project since that date. [See PDN ]

On May 9th 2016 however a new Penarth Headland Link “charity” (No 1167209) was registered with the Charity Commission  – as was a ‘company limited by guarantee’ (No 09897285)  at Companies House.

Some of the members of the Headland Link Group Roger Thomas, Peter Morgan, Dr David Trotman, Gabe Traherne and Jim Leighton. Dr Trotman is not a listed director ,

Some of the members of the Headland Link Group Roger Thomas, Peter Morgan, Dr David Trotman, Gabe Traherne and Jim Leighton. Dr Trotman is not now listed as a director ,

The “trustees” [ a.k.a. directors ] of the non-profit company/charity are :-

  • Business Consultant Brendan Sadka chairman of Penarth Headland Link

    Brendan Sadka (chairman),

  • Jeffrey John Andrews
  • Roger Geraint Thomas
  • Richard Michael Hodgson Read,
  • John Peter William Morgan,
  • Peter John Wellesley Bussell,
  • Dr Gabe Treharne,
  • South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Alun Michael
  • Louis John Lovell,
  • James Hunter Leighton
  • Mrs Mari Arwel Jones.

Cllr Sivaruby Signananam (Labour St Augustines)

The newly- elected Vale of Glamorgan Labour councillor for St Augustines, Ms Sivaruby Sivagnanam, had joined the board of the Penarth Headland Link project on October 7th 2016.

Following following her election as a Labour Vale Councillor on May 4th 2017 Ms Signanam  resigned her position on May 7th 2017 .

The Penarth Headlink Link company was originally incorporated on December 1st 2015 prior to the appointment of any of its current directors.


The background story of the original – defunct –  Mark 1 Penarth Headland Link proposal which collapsed in acrimony and cost millions in lost public funds is here :-

An account of the public meeting at which the Mark II version of the Penarth Headland Link was launched is on

The background on the proposed Tidal Lagoon (which is unconnected with the Penarth Headland Link but may impact upon it) is on:-

The background on the disappearance of Penarth Esplanade’s original multi-storey car park is on:-



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  1. whatsoccurin says:

    I don’t think it is an easy scheme but should be doable-they should look at the Causeway near Barry Island-this has been a great improvement and the walkway could be something similar-as long as they build far enough away from the tidal reach and not too near the cliffs (if that is possible)

  2. Philip Rapier says:

    We need to distinguish between Active Travel and Cycling Rabble first.
    This ugly cosmic platform of a Headless Dreamway will benefit only the minority of bullying speeding Cyclists who choose to infest the Railway Path rather than be man enough to race in a Velodrome.
    Will someone tell this consortium of the Vale Council Dad’s Army and retired PACL daydreamers we don’t want Penarth turned into Walmington- on- Sea.
    For the same cost per mile we could- with our precious limited Welsh Government resources link the Town Centre to the proposed Cardiff Metro immediately and have extensions to the Barrage and Pier. The Beach Road inclines are trifling to the Modern Tramway which when built would benefit the whole populace.

    • steve says:

      Why don’t you try insisting that the scheme contains properly segregated cycle and walking routes, rather than the inevitable paint job that leads to the slanderous stereotyping that you seem to be spreading?

    • Ian Perry says:

      Philip, I presume that you are speaking of my 7 year old nieces.

      Do you really fear and dislike young children so much that you’d banish them to a velodrome? Perhaps you could tell me where the velodrome in the Vale of Glamorgan is?

      For a politician, you do seem to be at odds with many people in our community.

    • snoggerdog says:

      why dont you start with the kiddies phil, snatch their scooters off them,prolific on a weekend down the barrage,watch the mums dont get hold of you though!

    • J24 says:

      It’s hard to believe that Mr Rapier was once Mayor of Penarth. Thankfully the majority of our residents don’t agree with his horrible Trump-esque comments. If he is so unhappy he wishes a life of laziness, expense, pollution and burden on our children then all the more reason for the rest of us to make the best of our lives.

  3. Mark Foster says:

    I’m not sure whether its an ISIS Headland Cycle Path and Walkway or a NATO Tank Road to complement the Gun Emplacement on the clifftop.

    They should leave the headland alone. You can actually currently walk around it and think you’re in the bush.

    Which of the Trustees are MI5 or CIA or Sustrans?

  4. This is the second article on this site in as many days dominated by an image of the white male dinosaurs who apparently rule the roost. What on earth is going on in the Vale of Glamorgan? The system appears to alienate both the young and women – it must surely be inherently sexist. Existing in a world long gone. Without a radical shake up, a modern and innovative vision will be left to neighbouring districts where younger minds are shaping a necessary future involving modern technology this lot would be lost within. What a shambles.

    • Mark Foster says:

      You are an ignorant man and need to do some reading. Try Ecclesiastes:

      What has been will be again,
      what has been done will be done again;
      there is nothing new under the sun.

      Is there anything of which one can say,
      “Look! This is something new”?
      It was here already, long ago;
      it was here before our time.

      No one remembers the former generations,
      and even those yet to come
      will not be remembered
      by those who follow them.

      • Haven’t got much time for folk on here who assume they know someone simply from words written; think you might find more rewards transferring your time and energy to Twitter. There you might be more in your comfort zone – such assumptive trivia is more commonplace. As for your advice, I just don’t do ancient fables I’m afraid.

  5. ColaniXL says:

    I quite like the idea of being able to stroll around the headland and onwards, across the barrage to Mermaid Quay. With all this negative sentiment, am I missing a key point?

    • snoggerdog says:

      i “stroll” round the headland twice a week,i go over the barrage to mermaid quay about three times a week (life of riley retired) wheres the negativity?

  6. Old McDonald says:

    I thought the point was that the Council didn’t own all the cliff where they want to put the walkway. Or am I missing the point as well

    • NewsNet says:

      That is correct. Although it was the escalating estimated cost that put paid to the Mk1 project, it was complicated by the late discovery that two sections of foreshore were- and still are as far as we know – in private hands.

      • Tim Hughes says:

        I thought one of the owners spoke in support of the scheme at the public meeting. Might be mistaken though.

  7. AK says:

    A walkway / cycleway round the headland would be a great idea. As would a cable car from the esplanade across the Bay with an intermediate point by the barrage. Such a thing exists elsewhere.

    Let’s shake the money tree and see what £millions fall out.

    Or just borrow it and not worry about how to pay it back.

    • 92 and a social butterfly says:

      I like the idea of a cable car or we could have a funicular railway along side the Kymin.

  8. Concerned Citizen says:

    Let’s hope someone tells the new council that! That they don’t own all the foreshore and the private owners will demand a kings ransom to sell which will scupper any scheme … as I believe it did previously?

  9. snoggerdog says:

    the headland link group would make damn good ballast !

  10. J24 says:

    The path would certainly bring more footfall to the Esplanade. It would also provide the added benefit of protecting the cliff face somewhat. It would be good to see if it could be constructed for a reasonable price.

  11. Clive says:

    Vanity close to insanity, this is for a locality where pavements and potholed roads are so worn out they need resurfacing, litter and rubbish clearance is inadequate and routine tree work is rationed and facilities like the Pier / Turner Gallery are clearly underinvested in.
    Bonkers and a misuse of public funds and lack of triage

  12. Grey says:

    One of the owners of the 2 privately owned areas was at the meeting and seemed amenable to the project. People attending were asked to give their email addresses and told information would be sent on. So far I know of no one who has had anything sent to them.

  13. Max Wallis says:

    Let’s give Geoff Cox and the new Cabinet some credit for bringing this scheme into the public sphere. Though of great importance for tourism and as link in the Wales Coastal Path, the previous Council left the project to a secret group under Alun Michael and friends. Penarth Town Council gave them meeting facilities; doubtless Labour’s in-group with Lis Burnett were kept informed, but they left it out of the LDP and left the public in the dark. The new decision to include it in the ‘Active travel’ plan hopefully means that Council disclosing outline information with options for public consultation. Funding it via a toll or including a (charged) carpark and commercial concessions are public issues, not to be left to the secret group.
    Passage over the privately-owned sections of the beach is readily resolved for a public project – the Vale Council would negotiate a fair price or if necessary use compulsory purchase powers. Whatever happens to the project, let’s welcome the break with Alun Michael’s undemocratic in-group.

Comments are closed.