A glossy video just released by the Wales Green Party is aiming to convince the residents of Dinas Powys to change their minds about their 40 year-long fight to build a by-pass built which would divert traffic from the centre of the village.
The ‘anti-By-Pass’ video – presented by Penarth Green Party activist Anthony Slaughter and released on YouTube – highlights the congestion problems affecting Dinas Powys : problems which the pro-by-pass campaign say can only be solved by a building a by-pass.
Yorkshire-born Mr Slaughter (who doesn’t have a driving licence himself) claims that building a by-pass is “not the answer” and suggests various solutions to the congestion – including adding more carriages to local trains, persuading more local people to commute by bike – and staggering the working hours of local residents so that they don’t all travel to work at the same time.
However the environmental thrust of the video is more than somewhat undermined by the frank admissions of a former local Green council candidate Hilary May .
Ms May draws attention to the existing traffic congestion in Dinas Powys and says “the air quality issues are pretty bad” – particularly in the area around the local primary school – a factor the pro-by-pass campaign say underlines the need for a by-pass .
Even more surprising however is the Green activist’s frank admission that she DOES use her car to travel on short local journeys within the village of Dinas Powys itself – and drives locally “more than she would like to”.
She says “just walking and cycling along that road, particularly with children, is not particularly pleasant”….a comment which local Pro-By-Pass campaigners may well feel makes their case for them.
The full video fronted by Green Party activists Anthony Slaughter can be seen by pressing the arrow button on the screen above.
Rod Harrod, Chair of Dinas Powys By-Pass Steering Committee said today . “The Green issue is something we all need to keep in mind but there’s a line between idealism and reality. “
Mr Harrod said “ We’d all like to turn the clocks back but we have to be realistic. People need homes, schools, food, shops, universities, work, retirement places. They all take up land and space. Of course brown-field sites should be used where possible but that’s not enough. There is not a motorway or by-pass that isn’t built in some part on green field space – many with hedgehog tunnels and the like.”
He added “The site we want delayed at the top of Murch Road has already been reduced from 300 to houses because dormice and bats were found nesting in parts.”
On travel statistics Mr Harrod said “People talk about moving the population to sustainable transport. Currently 72% of commuters in Dinas Powys travel by car, van or motor cycle. 6% more are passengers. That leaves 22% of which 10% go by train and around 2% each use buses, cycling, walking and other options. (Gov Statistics Office 2011). To change those figures substantially would be a Herculean task. And it couldn’t happen without moving most of the cars off the road to allow the buses to run unhindered, knocking down some houses to achieve park and ride – or running a concrete slab over the stations. “
Mr Harrod asks “Do the Green supporters expect the elderly, infirm and parents with babies and young children to start walking and cycling in the rain, wind and snow – leaving their cars in the garage? “