Castle Street has been closed after the Labour-run Council used emergency powers given to the Council because of Covid-19.
This closure was done without any consultation and without any scrutiny because of the emergency powers given to the Council in the wake of Covid-19. What this means in practice is that the Council can do things with next to no pre-planning or consultation. And more concerning is that the closure is set to last for 18 months – which, knowing Labour, will mean it will permanently remain closed.
The closure of Castle street came as a complete surprise to residents and businesses across the city. With businesses only told 48hrs before the closure. And cabinet members neglected to inform the Covid-19 scrutiny committee (the emergency committee set up in response to Covid-19) of the plans when they had the chance.
The Labour-run Council are seizing the opportunity to force through things they ideologically believe in (like treating hard-working people who drive to work terribly).
The emergency powers given to the Council to cope with Covid-19 are being used in the wrong way. They are supposed to be so the Council can respond to the health crisis – not force through things that should be dealt with during normal times.
– Shaun Jenkins, Councillor for Llanishen & Thornill
Dealing with Covid-19 has meant the entire country has had to adapt to a new (temporary) normal. And the emergency powers are to allow Councils to respond to the evolving crisis. These emergency powers were never intended for Councils to push the boundaries of what should and shouldn’t be done during the biggest health crisis in 100 years.
One of our election pledges in 2017 was to get the road narrowings on Heol Hir removed. And we’re delighted to confirm that the Council has recently been successful in securing funding to get them removed (find out more about the funding here).
Further to this exciting news, the Council is embarking on a consultation to hear the views of local residents about what will replace the narrowings.
The Council will be writing to all residents within close proximity of the narrowings, and you can see what the Council is planning to put in place of the narrowings, below.
In place of the narrowing at the top of Heol Hir, the Council is planning to put a table.
In place of the narrowing at the bottom of Heol Hir the Council is planning to put a table with a zebra crossing.
Share your views
If you would like to share any views about the plans you can email [email protected], or write to: Planning, Transport and Environment, Room 301, County Hall, Cardiff CF10 4UW.
After the consultation, the Council will put together a Consultation Report, and work will proceed to the detailed design and implementation stages.
We’re looking forward to getting the road narrowings removed in 2020!
One of our election pledges was to get the road narrowings at the top and bottom of Heol Hir removed. After campaigning on this issue for 2 years, we have a progress update to share.
The Council have submitted a bid to Welsh Government for funding to get them removed, and if successful the work would be completed this year.
Alternative traffic management provisions would be put in place but traffic would flow significantly better than at present. This would be a major victory for local residents and a significant improvement on the awful road narrowings that plague motorists every day.
Council officers should hear by early May whether the bid is successful and I will update this blog with more info as soon as I get it.
In January, Cardiff Bus announced that they were planning to cut loss-making bus services across the city, including the 86 that serves Llanishen, Thornhill and Lisvane.
Earlier today (19 March) Cardiff Council announced that through a tendering process, Cardiff Bus will continue 4 of the routes and Stagecoach will operate 2 of the routes.
Lots of effort has been put in to highlighting how important these services are, particularly to older people, over the past few months by many people across the city.
And the Council Conservative group has submitted a petition, a motion, an alternative budget, and has asked plenty of questions to get the Labour administration to listen. And we are glad they finally have.
Here’s just some of the work the Conservative Councillors in Cardiff have been doing about this issue:
We submitted an alternative budget last month, with an extra £250,000 for the bus routes that the Labour administration have now managed to get the money for (wonder where they got the idea from…)
We raised a motion in January calling for changes to Cardiff Bus directorships.
At last months Council meeting, a petition was submitted against the planned scrapping of the 86.
We’ve asked a range of questions of the ruling Labour group, including the cabinet, about Cardiff Bus.
Although in an ideal world these bus routes would pay for themselves (or even turn a profit) through ticket receipts, it’s important that as much of the city is served by good transport links as possible. There’s no denying that we are some way from that (morning commute on the train anyone?) and more focus is needed on delivering high quality services for the city.
With a whole host of new housing developments planned for the north of the city, effectively managing transport infrastructure is essential to ensuring the developments are sustainable, and the city doesn’t grind to a halt.
Myself and colleagues are continuing to make the case for better transport infrastructure and if you’ve got any views please get in touch.
With Arriva Trains Wales finally a thing of the past, the new rail operator, KeolisAmey (under the moniker Transport for Wales) has succeeded in making a shockingly poor rail service even worse.
Commuters had hoped the worst was behind them when the Arriva franchise ended last October, but things seem to have gone from bad to worse. The new operator was caught off guard by leaves on the track late last year, resulting in over a dozen trains being out of action, and was forced to publicly apologise for train cancellations and revised schedules.
And all this at a time when local Councils continue to escalate their war against motorists, with ballooning parking charges, fines, more pot holes, speed bumps and whatever else they can think to throw at the poor folks just wanting to get to work on time.
As a Councillor, it’s frustrating that Cardiff Council hasn’t done enough to make public transport better, and not only that, but it continues to trip up, catch out and belittle motorists, at a time when there is no credible alternative for commuters in the city.
How any senior manager at KeolisAmey/Transport for Wales can be happy with how things are going is beyond me. And to add insult to injury, rail users pay gobsmackingly high prices to use the service; it is quite literally daylight robbery.
How we’ve gone from rail pioneers to this mess is a national tragedy and the sooner we have the guts to be radical with the rails, the better.