Thursday, December 07, 2006

Councillor Adrian Robson and Jayne Cowan reply

Jayne and I are sorry you couldn’t make our surgery on Monday, so here are a few points in answer to your questions.

Heol Llanishen Fach:

With the Heol Llanishen Fach Road Narrowing (HLF), the overwhelming majority want it removed and something else in its place. In my opinion it is one of the most dangerous traffic calming measures in Cardiff – however there must be something to replace it. The replacement option we are supporting is traffic lights. This would have the advantage that everyone would have their “turn”. Therefore traffic going East-West along HLF would be one phase, traffic going North-South along Heol Uchaf & Blaen-y-Coed would be another (although I expect the majority of traffic will be turning left or right out of Heol Uchaf) would be the second phase and the third phase would be just for pedestrians with no traffic movements. Whilst this may mean pedestrians may have to wait for the lights to change, I strongly feel this will be safer than the current situation where no driver is quite sure who has right of way through the narrowing.

Traffic congestion:

Traffic congestion needs to be given some serious thought by the Council, rather the road-by-road approach at the moment. There needs to be a serious look at the public transport options – for example park and ride, trying to extend the Coryton railway line etc. The problem is that when you have a Council which at one point this financial was heading for a projected overspend nearing the £7m mark, investment in new public transport is likely to be one of the first items put on hold.

Another factor which many constituents raise with me is the construction of J31 of the M4. However when I raised this at Council some time ago, not only did the Council Leader say that it was not on his list of priorities, but the Llanishen Councillors were not at all in favour. I can understand this to some extend as some of the congestion in Rhiwbina is certainly caused by traffic using Beulah Road and HLF to get through from the M4 & A470 to Llanishen. A lot of this traffic would end up going through Llanishen instead of Rhiwbina!

Lack of pedestrian crossings:

I think the Council is getting better at placing pedestrian crossings around the place. However in Rhiwbina there are some areas where they are needed (for example HLF needs at least a pedestrian refuge in several places – and there is likely to be a zebra crossing at the Heol-y-Deri end of HLF). The problem is that there are 75 Councillors all saying the same things for their own respective wards – and I’m afraid there is a long waiting list for many of them.

Badly maintained footpaths:

Once again monetary issues come into effect here, but Jayne has pointed me to an email she received the other day from a Council Officer which states:

I would point out that defects in a paved footway are a projection or sharp edge of 20 mm or more in height, a crack or gap between slabs of 20 mm or more in width or a rocking slab. Defects in a tarmac/concrete surface are potholes greater than 20 mm deep or a difference in level between adjacent walking surfaces of 20 mm. Anything less than this is not considered a safety defect.

I would point out that broken paving stones will not necessarily warrant repairs unless rocking or producing a trip of 20 mm or over”.

One thing I do have concerns about (and it is the same with roads) is where gaps in pavements are simply filled rather than being properly re-laid. I am sure this is simply due to finances, but they need repairing again sooner. However I cannot see the Council changing its method of repairing pavements/roads for many years.


I have an issue with the cycle lanes which are being put in which go along for a short distance before stopping to allow for a road junction and then restarting for a similarly short length. I fear they are more dangerous to cyclists than not having one at all – no wonder they cycle on the pavements. However cycle lanes which are longer (such as the new one which runs next to the pavement by the new houses on the old AWE site) are good. I am concerned that many roads in Rhiwbina though are not wide enough for cycle lanes both ways and traffic, but new developments have to take these things into account. The Planning Committee does consider the provision for pedestrians, cyclists and traffic (and the proposed levels of provision) when looking at planning applications.

I hope that answers some of your queries.

Lastly, I noticed on your blog the comment labelled “Intelligent design needed in Cardiff”. I see that the photo is of the bungalow adjacent to the railway line on Pantbach Road, which has received planning permission for 2 houses on this site. Both Jayne and I spoke in opposition to this at the planning committee and I am concerned about how this granted planning permission could set a precedent. I quite agree it alters the character of the neighbourhood.

With Kind Regards,


Adrian Robson

Independent Councillor for Rhiwbina Ward

Cardiff County Council