STOP PRESS: We have been advised that due to the very poor weather forecast for this weekend the road closure and resurfacing work will not be going ahead. We will update you when a new date has been decided.
We have been sent a copy of a letter sent from Griffiths Civil Engineering and Construction, to local residents.
The letter refers to the resurfacing work currently underway at the junction - and describes how this work will intensify this weekend and next. They will also be working through the night, up to 5.00am, during the week commencing 5 October.
As the letter states, there will be some noise disruption during those hours, for those living nearby.
Temporary traffic lights will be in place during the work.
It looks, therefore, as if the construction of the new junction is coming to an end - following which we will have traffic lights to navigate, rather than a roundabout.
We will, of course, be interested to see how this affects traffic movement at the junction.
Here's the letter, or click here to see a clearer copy:
STOP PRESS: Residents will be aware that the poor weather last weekend led to the postponement of this work. We have now been informed that it will take place this coming Sunday (11 October).
We have been informed by Cardiff Council's Network Management team that there will be a road closure on Heol Isaf (sic) at its junction with Heol Syr Lewis this Sunday (4 October) from 9am until approximately 6pm.
This will be to facilitate the planning and resurfacing of the new raised table crossing being constructed. The footways will remain open during this work for pedestrians and cyclists (dismounted).
The following maps show the extent of the closure. It is marked in red, which is quite hard to distinguish from the diversionary route, marked in purple.
It seems, however, that it is part of Ty Nant Road that will be closed from its junction with Ffordd Treforgan (according to the map - although Cardiff Council told us it was from Heol Syr Lewis) to its junction with Springfield Gardens. The recommended diversion will take you a long way around - past Danescourt, via the old BBC site, through Llandaf North and Whitchurch, around the Coryton roundabout, through Tongwynlais, up to the turn-off for Radyr.
So you may want to avoid that journey on Sunday!
Higher resolution copies of the maps can be seen here and here.
Keen readers will remember that we conducted a survey last year to ask residents about their experiences with regard to mobile 'phone coverage in Radyr and Morganstown.
The survey showed that, in general, signal strength across Radyr and Morganstown can often be described as 'poor or terrible'.
We met with Ofcom's Director for Wales - and she urged us to write to Mark Drakeford, our AS and Wales' First Minister. We did so, as you can see from this letter.
We now have a response from Lee Waters MS, the Deputy minister for Economy and Transport (see below). In his letter, Lee explains that the Welsh Government has updated the Planning Regulations around Mobile Infrastructure to allow for mobile phone masts up to 25 metres (20 metres in protected landscapes), to be built under permitted development rights. However, the decision where additional masts and subsequent coverage improvement is situated remains within the gift of mobile operators.
We had asked Mark Drakeford to review the planning laws for masts - and Lee's response suggests that it should now be easier for mobile operators to install masts to improve coverage in Radyr and Morganstown.
In addition, Lee explains that the Welsh Government is working closely with the UK Government and the mobile industry around their announced £1bn deal to improve 4G coverage across the UK by creating a Shared Rural Network (SRN).
Significantly, Lee also explains that he is in discussion with UK Government and mobile operators to understand exactly which areas across Wales will be covered by the SRN and will, when in receipt of this information, highlight the areas that we feel need attention, including areas such as Radyr and Morganstown.
This should be good news for mobile phone users across Radyr and Morganstown - and lead to better signals.
Lee also pointed out that the installation of 5G supporting technology could see improved coverage should mobile operators decide to increase their 4G and 3G services during 5G building work.
Thank you, therefore, to those who took part in our survey - and helped us collect the evidence we needed to press for a better service for our residents.
We will continue to monitor this - and seek an update from Lee in due course.
You can see a clearer copy of Lee's letter here.
Keen readers will remember that we conducted a survey last year to ask residents about their experiences with regard to mobile 'phone coverage in Radur and Morganstown.
The survey showed that, in general, signal strength across Radyr and Morganstown can often be described as 'poor or terrible'. 87% of respondents agreed, or strongly agreed, with the statement that: The signal strength in Radyr and Morganstown needs to be improved.
Other responses showed that: 68% of respondents find the phone signal to be poor or terrible on Station Road; 77% consider the signal strength to be poor or terrible where they live - and 50% consider Radyr Station to have poor or terrible signal strength.
We met with Ofcom's Director for Wales - and she urged us to write to Mark Drakeford, our AS and Wales' First Minister. This we have done, as you can see from the following letter.
We will let you know what he says when he responds to our letter.
Our letter is copied below.
(And you can see a clearer copy of it here).
We've just received this pdf file from Transport for Wales (see below).
It's a newsletter outlining the work to take place in and around Radyr Station. There will be engineering work at night - which TfW reminds us can be noisy. But they promise to work with the local community to explain what they're doing and keep disruption to a minimum.
You can also take a virtual tour of the new trains TfW have commissioned, here (although we found the tour somewhat difficult to navigate).
TfW also told us:
We have started to build the South Wales Metro, a three quarters of a billion pound project that will make travelling easier, quicker and more convenient for us all in the future. In March this year, we took over the responsibility of the Aberdare, Coryton, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhymney and Treherbert lines from Network Rail. We are about to begin major work to upgrade them so that we can run more services than ever before on the new, faster, greener tram-trains we’re building. This major work starts in August and will continue until 2023.
While we build this better transport network over the next few years, it will mean temporary periods of change to rail passenger journey plans. Where possible, we are scheduling the transformation work to take place during less busy times to minimise disruption and offering connections between rail services and bus services.
The first phase of the transformation works starts on Monday 3 August 2020 with improvement work taking place on the Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr lines from Radyr station upwards. The work will take place late evening and overnight Sundays through to Thursdays during this period, with buses replacing trains on this part of the network from 2000 to 0500. Rail replacement services will operate from Radyr train station during this time.
Of course, at the current time, all our train services are only for key workers and essential travel, but we are asking people to plan ahead if they need to travel with us, as our travel advice is frequently being updated.
Over the coming years, together with our partners we’ll be:
A lot of the work on the railway will be done at night because our work either on, or very close to our railway lines can only be undertaken safely when trains aren’t running. We’ll endeavour to work responsibly, ensure our sites are well managed and that our people are considerate to our neighbours.
Here's the pdf file, in Welsh and English:
Residents will be aware that the children's playground in Drovers' Way has been in a sorry state for a number of years.
The problems stem from mud and water flooding onto the playground. This leads to the play equipment footings rusting away, making the playground unsafe. As a result, much of the equipment has been removed.
An initial survey led to a proposal that a French drain should be built, to draw mud and water away from the playground.
Further problems were revealed, however, during recent heavy rain, with water bursting through the manhole in the middle of the playground (see video).
This led to a more detailed survey of the area, using CCTV cameras to inspect drainage pipes, including pipes that run under the playground. The results revealed a sorry state of affairs, as set out in the following report from Cardiff Council:
"Further to the flooding observed to be sourced from the manhole within the Drover’s Way play area during February and March, we have now had the opportunity to review the report following the investigation of the culverted watercourse and we have identified the following key elements:
I note the suggestion from the local community to simply upgrade the pipe diameter and connect into a manhole further upstream.
There are three options to take forward:
1.Do nothing – this would permit the flood risk to remain;
2.Repair/replace the pipe like for like – the flood risk would remain from the throttle and the council would need to serve notice under the Land Drainage Act 1991 on private land owners requiring them to repair the culverted watercourse where is crosses their land. The requirement to undertake further works in the future would be a very real risk and would therefore not be an effective use of funds;
3.Undertake a hydraulic assessment to confirm the flood risk status of the current situation and assess the downstream flood risk should the throttle be removed by increasing the pipe diameter. I cannot recommend the upgrade of the pipe diameter without an assessment of downstream flood risk.
It is my recommendation and intention to apply for funding from Welsh Government to implement option 3 above. This WG application would also apply for funding for construction.
I understand that this may have an impact on the decisions to install new play equipment into the play area. I also understand that the equipment has been funded by the local community. Based on the potential for future flooding in the current situation, I would recommend that the play area equipment is not installed until the works related to the culvert have been completed, at the very least until an understanding of the proposed works.
I have emailed Welsh Government to request information on the best avenue for funding and also anticipated timescales for any agreement of grant award. Once I have an understanding of funding mechanism, I will have a clearer picture on timescales for the works".
We will continue to work with Cardiff Council and others to make progress with this matter. In the meantime, we must thank Cllr Rod McKerlich for his work in discussing this issue with Cardiff Council officials. We are also grateful to local residents who have worked hard to make progress with this matter.
In the meantime, residents may be interested to see the following plan, prepared following the survey (a clearer, larger scale version can be seen by following this link):
The Community Council is responsible for maintaining Pentwyn Park.
Recently, we have worked to rebuild the wall between the park and the flats and car park at Cae'r Graig. The old wall had become unstable.
The work involved discussing our plans with the adjoining landowner - and we were very grateful for the assistance and cooperation we received.
As you can see from the pictures, the wall is more or less complete - and should serve as a safe boundary between the park and the car park for many years to come.
Readers may also be aware that we commissioned a separate project to deal with the flooding that affected the path running through the park. This work was completed a few months ago - and it would seem that the path is now much less prone to flooding. Let us know, however, if you do see any flooding problems on the path.
from Monday 31 August the new timetable for Cardiff Bus services for Radyr and Morganstown will be as shown below. For a larger, clearer image, follow this link.
Local social-media sites have carried numerous stories recently about anti-social behaviour across our community.
One area under pressure is Radyr Cricket Club. Property at the club has been vandalised; some young people are using the square to play football (causing damage to the playing surface); club members have been threatened and intimidated; litter has to be cleared away on a regular basis (it contains copious amounts of drug paraphernalia, including nitrous oxide capsules and small plastic bags used for carrying cannabis). Other areas can face similar issues, including Radyr Woods.
You can read here about the use of Nitrous Oxide - and the risks involved. And here's some advice about the use of Cannabis and the risks involved.
Gatherings at these sites can continue way into the night - and the noise made by those present can disturb nearby residents, sometimes until around 2.00am.
One early response to this will be the Cricket Club's installation of additional CCTV equipment across their site.
We value our young people
Radyr and Morganstown Community Council greatly values our young people - and recognises that they have faced unprecedented and difficult circumstances recently, during the pandemic. Like everyone else, they have had to lockdown - and have become keen to catch-up with their friends. We recognise that they need to be supported - and should be encouraged and assisted to have fulfilling lives and to be good citizens.
We also recognise that young people behaving in an anti-social manner represent just a tiny minority of young people as a whole - and we are told by the police that most of those who behave badly come from outside Radyr and Morganstown.
To discuss this issue, we met recently with cricket club officials, our community police, British Transport Police and youth worker representatives.
The following was discussed:
Residents should ring the 101 number to report anti-social behaviour. Each call is added to a record of formally reported incidents in R&M. The more incidents placed on record, the more likely it is that R&M can be allocated additional police resources.
If the 101 line is busy, residents can report anti-social behaviour online, here.
[Other types of problems can be reported here.]
As with 101, online reports will be added to the record of formally reported incidents in R&M, increasing the justification for additional police resources.
However, incidents reported online may not result in an immediate police response (a 'phone call to 101 is 'live' - whereas the online service is checked every 10 to 15 minutes - so might result in a slight delay).
Residents can also ring 999. Justification for this, according to the police, could include mass gatherings, incidents of aggression or intimidation; ongoing nuisance; vandalism and damage to property; anti-social behaviour; music; public consumption of drugs and alcohol linked to the above; noise and nuisance late at night.
The 999 responder may refuse to deal with the case as a 999 call (for instance, if other more serious problems are being dealt with - or if the responder does not agree that the incident sounds serious enough. In these cases, the call will be downgraded to a 101 call but - importantly - will be added to the database of formally recorded incidents).
As mentioned above, 101 calls can help justify additional police presence. This could include special operations (eg on fine summer weekend evenings, or on Halloween night, or on evenings when local intelligence suggests that a mass gathering is being organised).
In the meantime, our community police will continue to patrol various sites around Radyr and Morganstown, to offer advice and guidance and ensure that our young people stay safe. We may also see the use of PSU vans in future (these transport a number of police officers to areas experiencing large scale disorder).
Visitors from elsewhere
The police understand that young people are travelling by train to Radyr and Morganstown from Barry, Ely, Fairwater, Riverside, Tongwynlais / Taffs Well, Pontypridd etc.
The police believe that ease of access by train, pleasant surroundings and multiple 'escape routes' attract them (especially near the river next to the cricket club).
British Transport Police told us that they will increase ticket checks on the trains bringing those people, during the 'peak visiting times'. Many travel without a ticket - so these checks may act as a deterrent to travel. According to the police, those who engage in anti-social behaviour tend to be between 14 and 16 years old.
Our community police and a local resident with youth work experience have sought support from Cardiff Council's Stay Safe scheme (where youth workers engage with young people, offering advice and activities). Already, some street based youth workers have attended parts of Radyr to engage with young people.
Safe spaces and activities for young people
We need to consider the provision of a safe space where young people can meet and socialise without disturbing local residents. We also need to consider whether safe activities can be provided for young people. This will require careful thought and consultation.
In the meantime, anyone with any ideas about suitable locations or activities is welcome to contact the community council. We are also keen to hear from our young people about this issue.
The Welsh Government's announcement on 9 July that schools should fully reopen in September may help bring some welcome respite from anti-social behaviour, as attention returns to school work and extra-curricular activities, including sports.
The new Multi Use Games Arena in Morganstown should also help keep our young people safely engaged in healthy activities.
What can parents do?
Parents will know that they should talk to their children about anti-social behaviour, which can include littering, causing disturbance through noise (especially late at night); using drugs (especially in public places); swearing and intimidating others - and vandalism.
Parents will also want to know where their children are going - and with whom.
Parents might not be aware, however, that groups of up to 100 young people can gather near the cricket club, where alcohol and drugs may be consumed.
Parents might also want to encourage their children to let them know about any anti-social behaviour they see, especially vandalism, violence - or the sale of drugs.
Youth Engagement Working Group
The community council has established a Youth Engagement Working Group, chaired by Cllr Myles Vatsaloo. The group will work with young people, in liaison with Radyr Comprehensive School and others, to consider the provision of activities and facilities for young people.
I must emphasise, however, that we greatly value our young people. The anti-social behaviour we have experienced is caused by a tiny minority of young people - and we are told by the police that most of those who behave badly come from outside Radyr and Morganstown.
So let's do what we can to support our youngsters!
Here are a few pictures showing progress with the new pavement (see previous story, here).
This will provide safe passage for pedestrians on this side of the road.
Read our current and past news stories.