Over half a million pounds spent on plans for two roads which now won’t be built
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
Hundreds of thousands of pounds has been spent on two proposed roads in the Vale of Glamorgan which now won’t get built.
For several years Vale of Glamorgan council was drawing up plans to build a road from the A48 to the M4, and another road bypassing Dinas Powys.
But last month the Welsh Government announced it would not fund building these new roads, as part of its new transport strategy which focuses on public and active transport.
Now the Vale council has revealed the total cost spent on these two roads which have now been cancelled: £654,698.
The costs include hiring expensive consultants to draw up plans for where the roads would potentially go, as well as lengthy public consultation to see if there were support for them.
The road from the A48 at Sycamore Cross to the M4 at Junction 34 proved highly unpopular as concerns ranged from houses getting knocked down to ancient woodland felled.
That road has cost £462,632, which was funded by grants from the Welsh Government.
The road bypassing Dinas Powys however was generally supported by the public, and was part of a wider project to improve transport infrastructure in the village like better bus shelters and cycling routes. The bypass could have cut congestion in Dinas too, a current problem.
The wider Dinas transport project has cost £192,066, mostly from Welsh Government, but including £54,749 from the Vale council.
Councillor Peter King, cabinet member for transport, said: “Welsh Government is moving very much away from road building into tackling climate change, which I really find some difficulty objecting to.”
“It has always frustrated me that the work was seen as the Dinas Powys bypass. But it wasn’t — it was the Dinas Powys transport infrastructure, because it included all sorts of things, including cycle networks and better access to train stations.”
He revealed the costs during a meeting of the full council on Monday, April 26, after a question from Cllr Ian Johnson, leader of the Plaid Cymru group on the Vale.
However some of the wider works to improve transport around Dinas could still be funded elsewhere, like from the Cardiff Capital Region, a body of 10 councils across south-east Wales. One project that could go ahead includes a cycle route from Newport to Barry.
Cllr King said: “We think we can probably pursue some of [wider work] through the city region, and we have also been awarded money for the active travel Newport to Barry route. So some of the other elements of the transport infrastructure we can pursue.
“But we’ll wait until after the election [on May 6] to see who’s in charge, before we decide what to do next.”