Checkpoint Penarth: Cyclists normally put up with the frequent closures of the bascule bridges – but yesterday some lost their rag when they heard the locks could not be traversed for most of yesterday – because of essential maintenance (PDN file photo)
It’s emerged that there were angry scenes at Cardiff Bay Barrage yesterday as cyclists – and some pedestrians – allegedly berated safety officials who were stationed to stop members of the public attempting to cross the three lock bridges between Penarth and Cardiff .
Cardiff Harbour Authority had already extensively publicised the scheduled closure of the locks and had issued statements to a variety of media to say that it would not be possible to cross the barrage for 2 days [ yesterday (Tuesday March 13) and today )] whilst essential maintenance work was in progress.
Clearly however, a number of cyclists and barrage-walkers had not got the message about the planned closure.
One of the Cardiff Harbour Authority safety marshalls who had to bear the brunt of heated complaints from cyclists and walkers yesterday (Photo John Clark)
They vented their combined anger on Cardiff Harbour employees whose responsibility it was to ensure members of the public were safe and didn’t attempt to cross whilst major maintenance works were in progress .
Cardiff Harbour Authority has confirmed that there had been “several incidents where a number of people were unhappy and had been unaware of the closure – and unhappy they had to change their plans ” . Some had “vented their frustrations”.
The Authority says that personnel acting as stewards on barrage were “used to getting a little bit of abuse” when the barrage had to be closed in such situations – and were accustomed to such “altercations”.
A huge steel component is craned into position in yesterday’s vital Cardiff Bay Barrage Locks maintenance work (Photo John Clark)
The scheduled work had already been deferred from last week and the revised closure dates had been extensively re-advertised.
In the event all the work was completed well within one working day and the barrage was open as per normal for all users today (Wednesday March 14th).
The huge mobile crane helped get two days’ work completed on the barrage within just one (Photo John Clark)
The work involved maintenance of the bascule bridges and extensive repairs and replacement of the huge and heavy lock-gates and their neoprene seals
One source said that cyclists or walkers heading from Penarth to Cardiff didn’t want to back and climb-up the fearsomely-steep Dock Hill, whilst cyclists and walkers from Cardiff to Penarth who had pedalled almost all the way to Penarth objected to having to turn around and go back to Cardiff .
With the Barrage Locks out of bounds most of yesterday there were only two choices left – go the long way around or take a boat – like the excursion vessel “Daffodil” (Photo John Clark)
Some would-be commuters decided to hop aboard local boats like Daffodil and Lady Helen – but it was uneconomical to provide such a service throughout the day for a relatively small number of passengers.
The original closure had originally been arranged for last week but had to be rescheduled for this week. Public information signs had been displayed days in advance at each end of the barrage and information had also been given out on social media channels and on the Cardiff Council website .