Thursday, 28 January 2016

Labour crony praises controversial LDP on behalf of SUSTRANS on day of vote

 Chris Roberts Sustrans spokesperson and Head of External Affairs who is quoted in todays paper and on wales online supporting the LDP "welcomes the Cardiff LDP’s commitment to sustainable transport" which couldn't be further from the truth. Turns out Chris Roberts is a labour insider which makes his 'helpful' intervention on the very DAY the vote is to be taken by Cardiff Council and a demonstration against  takes place before. Daresay we will have labour Councillors quote Sustrans support, a politically motivated intervention which it appears Sustrans supports,   
(Note Chris Roberts hasn't the best record  Blaenau flop man gets top job  as Wales labour general secretary he also worked for Welsh MEP Eluned Morgan in Carmarthen, then for Richard Edwards AM in Haverfordwest, before becoming a Welsh Labour organiser, with responsibility for the South Wales valleys.)

Cardiff Council made the LDP quite farcical due to their primary objective of huge greenfield housing expansion; it promises worsening traffic chaos in the existing urban area and keeping cycling on poor-quality backstreet and riverside routes.

Plaid Cymru Cardiff Councillor Neil McEvoy: “They’re allowing this city to be pillaged so big business can make billions of pounds.“We’re already gridlocked,” he said. “If all these plans go through the only options for transport will be to leave at 3am or take a helicopter. The roads are already full.”

This follows the corruption scandal that has been allowed to pass by quietly by labour involving land made worth £39 million by this LDP was sold for £2 million  
'Scandalous' land sales saw taxpayers lose out on millions  

  • Sustrans did not engage in the LDP hearings, only Cdf Cycling Campaign represented cyclists there - Max Wallis Ken Ken Barker 
  • we were disappointed and let down by the failure of the Inspectors to ensure grand statements about 'high quality cycle routes' and high modal share of cycling are implemented in the LDP and infrastructure proiposals/spending
LDP Action Point 8 Hearing Session 14
11.Cycling and walking mode splits will be measured through the Ask Cardiff Survey by journey purpose. Accessibility mapping and corridor surveys will inform the assessment in the Monitoring Framework if any triggers are activated (see method described in response to Action Point 9 of Hearing Session 14). Trends for cycling and walking by journey purpose from the Ask Cardiff Survey have shown significant increases.
13……… LTP includes a five year programme of cycling infrastructure delivery which will substantially complete the Enfys network through the creation of on road cycle lanes, segregated off road routes and measures to reduce vehicle speed and make cyclists safer. Additionally, to fulfil its duty under the Active Travel Act, the Council will be developing plans for the further extension of the strategic cycle network as part of its Integrated Network Map which will identify routes and schemes for developing a city-wide active travel network.

Just conisder their grand statements on Enfys:
to develop comprehensive, high quality, walking and cycling networks as part of new developments and within existing communities. Good progress has already been made in the delivery of new infrastructure. Schemes recently delivered include:
 • Enfys Route 1: Cathays Terrace centre line removal and installation of wider cycle lanes; re-configuration of Fairoak Road/Ninian Road/Shirley Road junction including installation of tabled zebra crossings to calm traffic, reduce severance and facilitate safe walking and cycling movements;
• Enfys Route 6: Cardiff Bridge to Victoria Park – on road speed management measures to provide cycle friendly environment along Cowbridge Road East;
• Enfys Route 8/Taff Trail: Tabled zebra crossing of Clarence Road for Taff Trail and centre line removal and wider cycle lanes on James Street;
• Enfys Route 9: Corbett Road/Colum Road Junction – All red pedestrian cycle crossing;
• Enfys Route 9: Traffic calming and cycle lanes along Colum Road, linked to Toucan Crossing improvements on North Road to link to Taff Trail; 

Think how limited these have been; consider Route 6 through to Victoria Park ... practically no cycling facilities with the old cyclelanes removed and now they've decided it fails the audit as an "active travel" route (except for 250m from Canton Bridge to Wellingtron St junction).

They claim for the NW Cardiff developments 
• Walking and cycling: - On and off-site measures to provide a network of high quality, safe, attractive and convenient routes within the site and linking to key local services, facilities and destinations including existing local centres and Schools at Fairwater, Pentrebane, Danescourt and Radyr;
- Links to the Taff and Ely Trails;
They've no money or proposals for the off-site links/routes.  
The Taff and Ely trails do are NOT High Quality - though they put the St Fagans link in as an 'active travel' cycleroute!

  1. we have a real problem with clear political bias on the LDP
  2. Sustrans Cymru may as well affiliate to the Labour Party. Are they a closed shop ?

Monday, 11 January 2016

No Caerau Landfill Quarry

SLR pr company for Feakins aplication
who work extensively with incinerator  
mega company Viridor
The Planning Application for the quarry is by Ermaer Limited, Monmouth NP25 3DG Sole Director Mr Mathew Kevin Andrew Feakins 

A Mr Mat feakins was also the director of BBLG LIMITED 
More info on the page Caerau Quarry applicants  

SLR Worked with Virdor who built the incinerator in Cardiff despite opposition. The dirty ash from this incinerator is being dumped in Lamby Way landfill, many fear its toxic and needs a new place to dump it. Alarm bells!!!

It's misleading title is:
Photovoltaic Installation, Cwrt Yr AlaRoad, Caerau, Cardiff (former Ely Brickworks) 2015/01131/FUL Proposed removal of fill material, importation of inert wastes with the progressive restoration of the former mineral working areas associated with the former Ely Brickworks 
They claim extant planning permission, but they surely can't restart a dormant quarry operation, when working arrangements have never been reviewed.
No mention of household waste does not mean there will be none. Why are they bothering with constructing a clay liner, 1-metre thick, if they intend only inert waste? Maybe it's incinerator ash - given tax exemption as 'inert' but leaches toxic metals in rainwater. Let's expect a second application to amend the present plan, by adding a plastic liner and leachate system, so it can then take Black-Bag waste when the incinerator is down (as is quite frequent). That would explain why Cardiff Council doesn't want to inform Caerau people, just slip it through.
The applicant claims to “provide much needed capacity for inert wastes to be placed in an engineered formation” yet no evidence is provided.
The need is for general landfill waste, since Lamby Way tip closed. There are many sites taking inert waste for free, so is replacing Lamby Way the real agenda?
  • The nearby Whitehall Quarry at Wenvoe has been taking inert landfill for many years, far longer than expected, and a further time extension had to be granted in 2014 (2014/00380/FUL)
  • Large demolition projects now have obligations to recycle their waste, so it's often used in base or landscaping.
  • the large Ely Mill development (on a floodplain) is importing large quantities of demolition waste for land-raising.
  • The infilling would last much longer than the 2-5 years.
  • There is no proposal to remove the lorry-track and ‘temporary’ site facilities when the infill is complete. 
  • Screening of excavated material would use a conveyor and riddles, a dusty as well as noisy operation. Requirements not to cause visible dust are primitive and impossible to enforce. The company could be required to monitor dust at or near Cardiff homes,with technology to distinguish this from traffic dust to avoid unending arguments.
  • To avoid the Cardiff-VoG cross boundary difficulties, will the Company fund either special cross-Council working or independent monitoring accountable to Caerau residents?
  • Nonsense to claim no significant traffic impacts! Some 10 000 20-30tonne lorries each way when occasional agricultural vehicles are the only heavy traffic will badly impact (noise, visual impact and perceived hazard) the rural nature of the lane and its use by children/youngsters
  • the lane is used for walking in Caerau Hill woodland and to the Hillfort, also recreational walking and cycling to the Michaelston-le-Pit area.
  • the development would extend the roadway onto the old lane, creating a highway past the A4232 and opening up the adjacent fields to housing development in the longer term.
  • numerous 20-30tonne lorries, slow to brake and accelerate, making the turns into and from Heol Trelai and Caerau Lane will inevitably impact on traffic at this awkward junction and the new  tight junction with Heol Poyston
  • While the lorry route is indicated up Heol Trelai and via Culverhouse Cross to the M4 at Capel Llanilltern, more waste-bearing lorries would come from Cardiff’s new re-development areas and travel via Cowbridge Road and Caerau Lane. a narrow and quite unsuitable road past primary schools.
  • The applicant claims “significant opportunities to supply appropriate material to the construction industry” yet much of the clay is to be reused to line the excavated hole
  • there’s no evidence of demand for the excavated material which is thought to be infill from the A4232 construction.  The quantity is far less that from the road cutting; presumably it's material that had no construction use at the time.
  • The application says Caerau "camp” rather than Caerau Hillfort ancient site and archaeological excavations. There's no regard to possible impacts, though the applicant says it's only 100m distant.
Noise – want to permit 10 times the noise intensity of present levels [increase by 10dB(A)] though 3dB or 5dB increase is the normal tolerated increment. No proposals for continuous noise monitors near the nearest homes or for any community reporting scheme. The VoG Environmental Health section have no obligation to Cardiff residents; why and how can Cardiff Council check operations outside its boundary?

Agent SLR Consulting Limited, Fulmar House, Beigno Close, Ocean Way, Cardiff. CF24 5HF

Cardiff Council knew about the planning application in October but waited until late December before notifying Cwrt Y Ala residents, why?

Cllr Neil McEvoy:  I have organised a public meeting to discuss the landfill on Thursday 14th
January at 7pm at Ysgol Nant Caerau. If Labour Councillors had not voted for a Local
Development Plan (LDP) to concrete Cardiff's green field sites, there would be no
application (he claims). The LDP can be stopped on Thursday 28th January at the Full Council Meeting at City Hall. There will be a protest at 3.45pm on the 28th. Speeches start at 4pm.

Caerau Cllr Peter Bradbury has written the following lightweight objection letter to the Vale planners. 

Here is my objection letter
My objection to the Vale
As the Councillor for Caerau which is in Cardiff County Council to say I oppose this application is a understatement. The application is to the Vale yet talks of vans consistently travelling down Cwrt Yr Ala Road in my ward. I am stunned that this is going to the Vale Planning Committee without even an attempt to consult local members is shocking. There is no mitigation in the application for any damage to the roads yet my constituents are expected to accept 5 years of heavy transit use. This application should be turned down on the grounds that the road network in Caerau isn't built to take this kind of transport. I am happy to come to the Vale to make my representations in person and I will be notifying my MP and AM.

Friday, 27 November 2015

No planning permission for coach park at Sophia Gardens

Scandalous that Cardiff Council hasn't applied for planning permission for Cardiff's new isolated coach station in Sophia Gardens  Bute Park  
Cardiff Council reply to my FOI 
'We have checked with our Planning Department and can confirm that No application has been received for the coach park at Sophia Gardens by Cardiff Council.' 
Yet there are no plans for a new coach park in Central Square.  

Join the discussion here 

Cardiff's new isolated coach station - in Sophia Gardens car-park
----------------------- the least integrated transport facility imaginable --------------
** 1 km from the rail station
** not served by city buses
** poor access on foot - don't expect to drag baggage on wheels
** no taxi rank
** toilets... closed from 5pm
** new shelter, open to the wind and rain
Subsidised by Cardiff Council, with a shuttle bus and ticket office/toilets
Only National Express uses it, other operators apparently boycott it, including the WG's T4 (Newtown) and T9 (airport).
This picture on a damp, drizzly August evening ~7pm shows people preferring to huddle under umbrellas rather than use the very open shelter with Cardiff's normal uncomfortable seating (one lonely guy). Three coaches waiting, another seven empty bays beyond.
Sue Caldwell There's a covenant on the grounds.......I'm certain this is not legal!
Anne Greagsby i wondered if it went to planning as it is there that that should be raised.
Sue Caldwell The covenant says the grounds are for the leisure of the public......NOT for coaches!!!
Alison Rees What if the coaches are there to pick you up for leisure purposes? If you're getting the coach to London to go to the National Gallery or to the opera is that ok?
Sue Caldwell Alison, no, as it's really stretching the terms of what the Marquis of Bute meant under the covenant terms. frown emoticon He made it quite clear that the grounds he gifted to the people of Cardiff were specifically for leisure, such as tennis, walking, general gentle exercise. Sophia Gardens are actually named after one of his daughters. smile emoticon x
Alison Rees Then the car park needs to be shut down too as it does not fit with those aims. I would be very careful of the unforeseen consequences of pursing this argument, if the coaches cannot pick up in Sophia Gardens then the location will be moved well out of the centre of Cardiff, perhaps to one of the Park and Ride stops. If you live in Fairwater would you be happy having to travel to Pentwyn to get your coach instead of the city centre?
Sue Caldwell Alison, a covenant is set up at cost for a reason! I live in Llandaff, just up the road from Fairwater and would have no qualms travelling to Pentwyn to catch a coach.
Alison Rees Do you have authority to speak for all living in the west of the city Sue? I would never have the arrogance to speak for all those living in the East of the city if they moved the pick up to Leckwith or Culverhouse Cross. Re covenants, I am a barrister by training so I could probably teach you a thing or two about such matters 
Anne Greagsby There are sites in the city centre - even in Callaghan Square that would be better. The council should have built a new bus station before closing the old one. The plan for the 'new' one will only have 4 coach bays - hardly enough or world class.
Anne Greagsby Cant they use the NCP CAR PARK which I thought they bought
Sue Caldwell Alison, I'm simply replying to your messages out of courtesy and giving you the facts and stating that I've no qualms personally to your suggestion of the possibility of catching a coach from Pentwyn from Fairwater! I fail to see how this is arrogance as I regard it as simply intelligence trying to respond with the facts to a barrister who SHOULD therefore respect this covenant!!! Enough said!!!
Alison Rees Which bit are you taking offence at Sue? My observation that it is arrogant to assume because you are happy with an arrangement all others must be? I do think an 'I'm all right Jack' approach is incredibly arrogant. Frankly I don't care if the move the pick up to Sarn as I can afford to never have to set foot on a coach but I care about those who use the service as a low cost alternative to airport taxis/trains.
Max Wallis This site for a coach station is completely unacceptable, eg. on accessibility and public safety grounds. Public funds are subsidising it and a shuttle bus to it. The Council and National Express have to be told to stop it. Use the Covenant or lack ...See More
Teresa Lewis If it was up to George Monbiot (going by his book Heat) then coaches would only pick up and drop off passengers at motorway service stations but there would be more local buses linking to them from wherever you were in the city so you wouldn't have to change buses in the city centre.
Zoe Sparkles If they weren't building great big hideous BBC studio smack bang in the centre of town WE would still have a bus station in front of the train station. But sadly they don't seem to think about other peoples needs.
Gabrielle Mansfield Going to donate my brain cell to CCC bit worn out but better than theirs I think ...............................
Teresa Lewis I'd rather a nice grassy area in the front of the train station with the bus station built as per the plans. Marland House should have been demolished first. Miss the grassy area at the back of Mary Ann Street which Admiral has moved into.
Anne Greagsby

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