Thursday, 27 August 2015

Cllr Paul Mitchell ignores cyclists plea

Cllr Paul Mitchell, Chair Environmental Scrutiny committee.
Dear Cllr Mitchell
Scrutiny of Wedal Rd closure: the cyclists' interest

There is a legal requirement on the Council to provide HWRC’s that are ‘reasonably accessible to persons resident in the area’ (Env Protection Act 1990, section 51).   The alternatives to Wedal Road site (Lamby Way or Bessemer Close) are ­not “reasonably accessible” to many or most cycle-using residents.
It is not reasonable for the Council to disregard non-car owners/users; the Active Travel legislation puts a positive duty on the Council to consider us.
  1. reasonably accessible” is given by the WRAP guidance** as under 3-5 miles and 20 minute travel time for car-users.  For cyclists we’d argue up to 3 miles could be“reasonable”
  2. the quality/safety of the access roads and closeness to the Council’s cycling network should be taken into account. Both Lamby Way or Bessemer Close are poor compared with Wedal Rd.
  3. the Council should be taking measures to reduce traffic and traffic congestion, with its polluting emissions and CO2, to improve cycling conditions generally in the city.  The Cabinet failed to consider the knock-on effects of Wedal Rd closure from forcing car-users to drive extra distances.


We ask you to therefore consider the cyclists' interest in your scrutiny of the closure of the Wedal Rd Recycling Centre.

Max Wallis   07714 163254 Campaigns manager Cardiff Cycling Campaign

NOTE ___ For people without a car, who walk, bus and particularly those who cycle to Wedal Road (with small loads or with a cycle-trailer) the alternatives to Wedal Road (Lamby Way or Bessemer Close) do not meet the legal requirement to be ‘reasonably accessible to persons resident in the area’ (Env Protection Act 1990, section 51).  The Council must consider cycling etc. to the HWRC facilities under the Active Travel Act.
The WRAP Guidance (from which the above quote is taken) gives reasonable minimum levels of HWRC provision by comparison with local authorities generally (except for very rural or very urban areas). They find: „
·         * Maximum catchment radii for a large proportion of the population: 3 to 5 miles. „
·        *  Maximum number of inhabitants per HWRC:  120,000.
Lamby Way and Bessemer Close together are outside 3 miles for a large proportion in north Cardiff; it is not reasonable to expect cyclists to travel over 3 miles.  They are not accessible by bus and a reasonable walk.  3 sites are needed to provide for Cardiff’s 360 000 people at the maximum of 120 000 per site.

Cardiff LDP Examination - Additional hearings

Cardiff LDP Examination - Additional hearings 

 Held over two days on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 September 2015 at City Hall, Cardiff. The Additional hearings Programme (ED038) the examination documents webpage  
Matters & Issues With The Agendas (ED039) outline the main matters and the Inspectors intend to explore Issues 
One must Please confirm by 11 September 2015 

Anyone wishing to view paper copies of the Examination Documents should contact the Programme Officer to arrange a mutually convenient time.

Monday, 24 August 2015

A miserable welcome to Wales

Sophia Gardens bus station 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
Welcome to Wales Cardiff's new isolated coach station - in Sophia Gardens car-park

Has it got planning permission?                           Cllr Bradbury "This is temporary option whilst the new bus station is being constructed. I don't think the temporary solution would need planning consent but I have asked for clarification on that and the other points you have raised."
Councillor Peter Bradbury
City and County Councillor for Caerau
Follow me on Twitter @PEBradbury

----------------------- 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. 
Cabinet member for transport
Cllr Ramesh Patel who closed
Cardiff bus station 
Did this set up get planning permission? I  have written to councillor bradbury and I await the reply! 
There is no information on the shuttle bus - where does it leave from and where does it stop? 
Only National Express uses it, other operators apparently boycott it, including the WG's T4 (Newtown) and T9 (airport).
Sophia Gardens bus station office 
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.
The facilities  are either abysmal or
 non-existant. Stagecoach use the 
stops at Lower St Mary Street whilst 
the T9 can be accessed from
 Custom House Street or the
rear of Cardiff Central 
Station in Penarth Road. It 
is going to be really grim in
Sophia Gardens as the 
Autumn and Winter draw closer. 
Would like to be in this 
area in the hours of 
As regards the Bus shelter
open to the weather, Cardiff Council replied 
to an FoI question: "Bus 
Shelter design is
 a fixed specification, determined at the start of the Bus Shelters Contract
 14 years ago. The style and design of  the bus shelter units are therefore 
predetermined. The shelters are of two styles, either Cantilever or 
Enclosed. The Council’s preference is for enclosed bus shelters due to the
 higher level of protection that it offers against the weather."
"However at some locations, due to the larger size of the enclosed 
shelters, it is physically not possible to fit this into the available footway 
width." [FOI 01327 31 Jan 2012] What excuse does the Council offer here?

Residents near by are not happy either as they have to endure additional 
noise and traffic at all hours of the day and night. 

South Wales Echo letters: Tuesday, July 28, 2015 

Who is the bus service for?

If the citizens of Cardiff are disgruntled about the new wheelie bins then they are going to be horrified when the bus station is closed on August 1.
I wrote to Cardiff bus and asked that the bus stop for the 28 and 28A service be placed in Havelock Street alongside the 27 service (both services go to Thornhill but by different routes). I pointed out that with the proposed changes passengers using the number 28 service would have only two stops in the city centre as opposed to the four that are currently available.
I also pointed out that the new stops which are at John Lewis and Station Terrace are too far away from the main shopping centre especially for disabled and elderly passengers.
Well silly me. Cardiff Bus replied to tell me that the revised stops were decided on by Cardiff Bus and the council with a view to avoiding congestion in town. That’s OK then as obviously the needs of the passengers are way down the list of importance.
Perhaps someone needs to realise that without the public using the buses there wouldn’t be a need for a bus service. I cannot believe how arrogant both these organisations are and the way the public has been ignored in favour of perceived traffic congestion issues.
I will remember this during the next three years of inconvenience especially when it comes to election time. Now where are my car keys?
Mrs LS Davies
Beatty Avenue, Roath Park

Sad to see the bus station will close

I think it is terrible that our bus station is being closed. All they had to do was put more bus shelters in the big empty space that has been there since they demolished what I call the Astey’s building (Astey’s cafĂ© was at one end) and spruce it all up a bit.
The nice Astey’s building should have been renovated and kept.
With regard to the National Express coaches, I think Sophia Gardens is not going to be a good location for people arriving in the city especially after dark and having to find their way to the railway station or other bus stops.
Many students use the National Express coaches and also many older people too.
Apparently National Express were offered one place outside the castle which I would think would not be suitable for them as they have often got three coaches leaving at the same time and then there is all the traffic in Castle Street.
If we were a one-horse town that would be OK, but we are the capital of Wales.
So it seems National Express have accepted Sophia Gardens as their other option.
It is sad that on August 1 after the last bus leaves the station it will close. I know that another bus station is meant to be built but it will take a long time and the whole thing is so unnecessary.
VA Salter
Caerphilly Road, Rhiwbina

National Express in Sophia Gardens?

Apart from our Labour Councillors I believe that every Cardiff resident cannot understand why the BBC has been allowed to take over our bus station site.
We know that most of their employees will have their own cars to take them anywhere outside their existing Llandaff site. Now we hear that while the redevelopment takes place the National Express coach station will relocate ...wait for it… in Sophia Gardens.
I simply ask the councillors how they expect our elderly residents, some with luggage, to do the 17-minute walk to transfer to and from their local bus service stops.
The taxi service is going to have to fill this void but where are they going to be able to wait? Think also about the effects of all the extra traffic on the three main junctions at Cathedral Road, Westgate Street, and Wood Street.
This has not been thought through and looks like it will be another nail in the city’s transportation coffin.
Duncan Hockridge

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Cllr Bob Derbyshire should be be fined for dumping

While Cardiff labour council fine residents for not disposing of their rubbish correctly Cardiff waste in green recycling bags are dumped on Lamby Way landfill.
 Unopened Green Bags are included, which Cardiff admits are theirs, claiming them to be 'contaminated' and 'recyclable material removed'. 
City of Cardiff (@cardiffcouncil) tweeted at 4:58 PM on Mon, Jul 27, 2015:
@greengranma @neiljmcevoy Hi, the green bags are those that are contaminated and where the recyclable material has been removed 

Picture shows Caerphilly and Cardiff waste tipped on Lamby Way tip.

Normally this dumped material with apparently unopened bags are sent to the Viridor incinerator, went instead to the tip when out-of-action - and were visible to the world (picture by David Prosser from his home within camera-shot).
This means Cardiff appears not to open some Green Bags of household-separated recycling, just decides the contamination might mess up their automatic separating machinery (Lamby Way MIRF).  
We know the machinery is inadequate
  • unable to handle all the green bags due to breakdowns and high maintenance, so have had to be sent outside Cardiff in the past
  • outputs low quality and sometimes unsaleable recyclates that had to go for costly secondary separation.
Despite these inadequacies, Caerphilly's agreed to send their co-mingled recyclables from July to Cardiff so they are probably diverting even more recyclables to the incinerator. 
How much easier and cheaper to ease pressures by sending some green bags, unopened, straight to the incinerator !

More information from Max Wallis   07714 163254 Dave Prosser  029 20 791993
Cardiff Against the Incinerator (CATI)

From the council that closed Waungron Road recycling centre - no wonder they don't meet their recycling figures. 

People of Cardiff are so disgruntled and upset by the council imposing bins they don't want (with no efficient consultation) they have taken to twitter to express their outrage. See  - their latest tweet below 20th August 2015

Everyone here at Lamby Way is so excited. Even Len has been helping out with the publicity shots..

More than 2,000 people warned after Cardiff bin changes

Penylan residents tell Cardiff council to 'Ban Bob's Bins'

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Councillor Derbyshire twists the rules to close recycling centres at Waungron Rd & Wedal Rd

Special meeting 26th August Environmental Scrutiny Committee and Policy Review and Performance Scrutiny Committee
"Maximum catchment radii of three miles in urban areas and seven miles in rural areas covering the great majority of residents. „ Maximum driving times to a site for the great majority of residents of 20 minutes in urban areas, and 30 minutes in rural areas; though preferably less than this by the order of 10 minutes in each case."  

In todays Capital Times Councillor Derbyshire says "In response to the Welsh Government’s collection and infrastructure blueprints which require HWRCs to run at 80 per cent capacity, it was decided in the 2014/15 Budget Report that the number of sites in Cardiff should be reduced from four to two by Spring 2016 to focus resources on two sites for high recycling." 

Councillor Derbyshire gets it wrong, misrepresenting the 80% figure which is a guideline figure NOT a REQUIREMENT  "Achieve a level of at least 80% recycling at all civic amenity / household waste recycling centres
From Collections Blueprint For affordable and sustainable local authority collection services for recyclable, compostable and residual waste"  

Recycling Waste Management Strategy 2015The City of Cardiff Council
5.4. Phase 2: HWRCs, new markets and reuse options, 2015/16, to deliver an additional 5000 tonnes of recyclate.  
Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) The Welsh Government’s “collections blueprint” suggests that HWRC must achieve an 80% recycling rate if we are to achieve the statutory recycling targets of 64% by 2020. The HWRCs achieved 65% recycling in 13/14 and above 70% in 14/15, so there is potentially a large proportion of material (up to 5000 tonnes, with a further 1000 tonnes from new markets) that could be captured. Recycling over 80% is achievable and some high performing sites achieve over 85% recycling.

Recycling centres must be accessible to those without cars - by walk,, bike and bus. It's a misunderstanding that Recycling sites are for bulk rubbish only. Small electricals (EEE waste), fluorescent bulbs, paint and pesticide residues can all be taken there by 'active travel' modes; even heavier items via cycle trailer. It contradicts policy to ignore these modes. It also contradicts policy to force vehicles to make unnecessarily long trips, burning fuel and creating pollution. This means Cardiff needs 5 or more recycling depots to cover all areas. The "Supersite" concept is completely wrong.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Green recycling sacks dumped in Cardiff landfill

In the wake of Cardiff Labour group's  bingate debacle, let's look at Cardiff's Lamby Way landfill.  Viridor has been sending their incinerator's toxic ash to Lamby Way. Now someone is dumping green recycling sacks there too.  
When the Viridor incinerator was down in early July and again in the week beginning 20th July, domestic waste was diverted to Lamby Way tip.
Below is a picture of a large tipper truck, dumping a load containing what looks like green and black bags, The second picture shows a huge crowd of gulls circling for pickings from the mixed black and green bags being dumped.
We hope its not Cardiff's waste, for they strip off the green bags brought in by the Council's compacter-lorries just 200 metres away at the base of the mound.
Green Recycling bags dumped on Lamby Way landfill 

Only Cardiff uses green sacks. Newport, Vale, Monmouthshire, RCT & Caerphilly don't.     use green sacks. Caerphilly Council uses private refuse companies, currently has no facilities of their own for sorting their co-mingled recycling collection, or for bulking or processing waste.  Caerphilly could not find any recycling company willing to accept its contaminated co-mingled recycling stream, so recently arranged a short term contract with Cardiff Council.  Their black bag residuals are going to the Viridor incinerator, except when it breaks down.

Lamby Way landfill - gulls indict the presence of food waste

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Call-in Bus Station proposals for scrutiny

We ask the group to now call-in the proposals for scrutiny

As the Cardiff Bus-Users group we welcome the use of the Saunders Road entrance to a new Bus Station.  This eases the main pedestrian route between St Marys Street and Central Square across the buses. This change in plans also importantly allows the Bus Station to operate through street closures on Match Days and  weekend evenings.  
But there are further issues on which answers or changes are required: 

1. Could it cope with present bus services and expansion
No, not on the evidence attached to the report, which concern Dynamic Stand Allocation to make use of stands (bus bays) more efficient, and which is not applied to Cardiff’s buses.

No, not on the evidence in the Council’s Nov. 2014 study Transforming the Bus Network**.  
This identified 11 'Core' services which have headroom time of 10 minutes or less, and need dedicated stands.  It proposed to exclude these and use on-street stops.  But the Council denied this when the Echo publicised it in March: The spokesman said: “Those wishing to travel by bus from the city centre will be able to get a bus from the central bus interchange stationThe state-of-the-art facility will be a passenger station for Cardiff services”.

The proposed 13-14 stands in the new Bus Station would be taken up by the present Core services alone, when 2 or 3 are allocated to Coach services.  No space for the promised new Rapid Transit services or city-bus expansion to meet the LDP plans.

Cardiff’s remaining 25 services of 15-30min headroom and the dozen less-frequent services could share stands. "Dynamic Stand Allocation" could improve the efficiency, though this technique is “in its infancy” and it’s uncertain so carries risks. The non-core services alone might be squeezed into about 10 stands (like Christchurch NZ, the only operating example), but over 11 more stands are needed, allowing for future expansion.    

2. Andrew Gregory claimed it could deliver 140 services per hour.
The evidence is not in the 2nd July appendices (excuse is they date from 2012) but on officers’ work using the information.  That work is not presented – so does it exist in professional form and has it been validated?

3. Where’s the funding
Nothing is proposed from the developer (no S.108) and nothing in return for the Council’s asset in the NCP carpark (£9 purchase in 2014). The report talks of rental income; nothing about payment up-front for a long term lease on the land for office, hotel and carpark developments; nothing from developments on the existing Bus Station land.  Why not set up a commercial deal that gives capital towards building a new Bus Station?

4. How would the street-running metro fit in the interchange?
It won’t.  The plans were required not to pre-empt metro options -  a street-running Metro-tram from the Bay  via the Central Square Interchange and then out west was the main option discussed at the Cardiff LDP Inquiry. There’s one route for this into the Interchange – the route via Saunders Road - yet the plans make no mention of any route.  They give this route instead for buses and for cars to an underground carpark (which gives operational difficulties without an additional metro line). 
Will Andrew Gregory include space for a Metro-tram running through Central Sq and Wood Street in the plans?

In conclusion, we would ask you to call in the Cabinet report to scrutinise these and other points;  the role of the document Transforming the Bus Network is surely relevant. Do ask me if you require further information. 

 07714 163254 Cardiff Bus-Users group 

** This  document was kept secret until obtained by the LDP Inquiry.
 Cardiff Council denies it's agreed by them.  There has been no consultation or scrutiny on it.   It appears the officers are expecting to implement Transforming the Bus Network without consultation and without showing it’s practicable, while still pretending the Core services will be able to use the tiny bus Station.

Transforming the Bus Network was publicised by the Echo  26th March
Plans reveal Cardiff's long-awaited bus station will not serve passengers wanting to travel within the city
Immediately denied by Ramesh Patel
 A council spokesman told us that the Ove Arup report’s proposal of a bus station where vehicles simply turned, without allowing passengers to board or get off, had not been approved by the council or by Cardiff Bus. He said decisions about the exact nature of the new bus station were expected be taken “in June or July”.
The spokesman said: “Those wishing to travel by bus from the city centre will be able to get a bus from the central bus interchange station.
“The state-of-the-art facility will be a passenger station for Cardiff services.