‘Anger’ as bypass in key Conservative target seat scrapped after Welsh Government drops funding
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
A proposed bypass around Dinas Powys has been scrapped after the Welsh Government dropped funding for the road.
The proposed bypass in the Vale of Glamorgan, a key Tory target seat in the upcoming Senedd poll, prompted “anger” from a Conservative councillor who vowed to make it an election issue.
For many years Vale of Glamorgan council has been exploring how to build a road bypassing Dinas Powys, to make it easier to drive from Barry to Cardiff. Currently, much of that traffic goes through the village either at unsafe speeds or stuck in congestion.
The bypass would have been built from the Merrie Harrier junction, down past the east of the village, and then connecting back to Cardiff Road just south of Green Lane.
But the Welsh Government revealed last week it would no longer fund the bypass, as part of a major new transport strategy with a much greater focus on walking, cycling and public transport. The decision leaves in doubt wider improvements to transport in Dinas Powys.
The bypass project included a raft of other measures to upgrade transport infrastructure in and around the village. A lot of bus stops are run down and cycling safely can be tricky. But after the funding for the new road was dropped, the council said it would consider its options.
Tory councillors in the Vale of Glamorgan are now calling for a public consultation to gauge support for the road.
Cllr Vincet Bailey said: “This is a baffling decision. [Consultants] Arcadis undertook detailed analysis of the proposals for the Welsh Government and confirmed that a bypass represents value for money.
“The same data also paints a doomsday scenario for local roads if nothing is done to address congestion in the area. We will be calling on the Vale council to fund a public consultation so that local residents can have their say on this project and demonstrate local support for the bypass.”
The wider planned improvements to transport now need more clarity, according to Plaid Cymru community councillors in Dinas Powys. They claimed long delays to the recently published report on the bypass were due to the upcoming Senedd election in May.
Cllr Richard Grigg said: “Labour has carefully controlled the release of this information to suit their electoral tactics. A vote for Labour at the election is now a clear vote against the Dinas Powys bypass.”
More details on how the council will respond to the dropping of the funding will be revealed in April, when the cabinet next meets.
A Vale of Glamorgan council spokesperson said: “Following the Welsh Government’s decision not to provide the funding to take this scheme forward, the council will be considering its position at a cabinet meeting next month.”
As well as the Dinas Powys bypass, another proposed new road in the Vale of Glamorgan was also dropped by the Welsh Government last week. Detailed plans had been drawn up to link the A48 from Sycamore Cross to Junction 34 on the M4. This too has been scrapped.