Readers will be aware that Transport for Wales will be electrifying the Valleys Lines, to provide less-polluting, modern rolling-stock - whilst doubling the frequency of trains heading north and south.
Our initial response to their plans - and their implications for Radyr and Morganstown - were outlined here.
On 15 February our Planning Committee met to discuss TfW's proposals. The Committee's recommendations were then discussed at a full Council meeting on 18 February.
The following was discussed and agreed:
Planning Application 21/00235/MJR - New vehicular and pedestrian bridge over the Radyr-Pontypridd railway line and associated infrastructure and removal of part of a ruined farm building: Cllr HO Jones (Chair of Planning Committee) presented the recommendations from Planning Committee on the proposed response to the application. Following a wide ranging discussion of the application and implications for the site at Morganstown, Members agreed the following response to be submitted:
Members agreed that Tongwynlais Community Council be informed of the response submitted by RMCC.
Note: Amongst its planning application documents TfW did refer briefly to the possibility of building a bridge across the Taff. This is what they said:
A further design option, comprising a link to Gelynis Farm across the River Taff to the east was also considered. This was ruled out for a number of reasons, including the need for a significant structure to cross the Taff, the associated likely loss of riparian habitat along the river, the loss of a direct route between Gelynis Farm and Morganstown, the need to upgrade the links to the A470 east of the river, and the need to provide a separate bridge of the railway to accommodate the public footpath.
We think a low-cost bridge (replacing the existing footbridge) is worthy of further consideration - and would remove the need to build a large new bridge over the railway - with its associated environmental consequences.
As ever, we will keep you posted.
...for collection on Tuesday!
Don't forget the new rubbish collection arrangements. We're Tuesdays from now on!
We have been sent the enclosed copy of Mark's letter to Cllr Caro Wild, Cardiff Council's Cabinet Member for Transport and Strategic Planning.
In his letter, Mark urges Caro to consider further highway improvements in our area - and for those to be developed with as much consultation as possible with the local community.
Those improvements could include, of course, tabling the existing zebra crossings on Heol Isaf, improving traffic management near Radyr Comprehensive School - and improving the Station Road area.
The reply from Caro Wild explains that Cardiff is, indeed, starting to develop proposals for more improvements - and recognises the important of meaningful engagement with the community.
We thank Mark and Caro for their continued support for our community. And we look forward to working in ever closer cooperation with Cardiff Council for the benefit of Radyr and Morganstown residents.
Residents will know that we have been working for a long time with Cardiff Council, Redrow and the Clos Parc Radur Management Committee to resolve some serious issues affecting this playground. In fact, over three years have gone by since we first raised this matter with Cardiff Council.
For its part, Cardiff Council has an annual budget of around £90k for the 150 playgrounds it is responsible for. That, clearly, has an impact on how quickly it can deal with this type of issue.
Matters are still progressing, however. And, as the drainage under and around the playground continues to collapse and deteriorate, rainwater now pours out of the manhole and floods onto Radyr Tennis Club's courts - causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
This has increased the need to resolve this issue as soon as possible. The good news is that Cardiff Council has received a grant from the Welsh Government to further investigate the drainage problem - and to develop models to determine how the flow of water across and under the site should be managed in future. The modelling is expensive - costing around £40k! The results should be available towards the end of March.
At that point, Cardiff will have to find the considerable sum of money it will need to replace and improve the drainage system. It will probably want to do so quickly, however, since it could well be liable for future damage to the tennis courts.
Then we can turn to the task of renovating the playground itself.
So that's where we are.
We live in the sixth largest economy in the world (based on nominal GDP) - but fixing a children's playground in Cardiff takes over three years. It makes you think!
Residents will be aware that Transport for Wales plans to use part of the Mound field as a works compound during its work to electrify the Valleys lines.
The Community Council has discussed this issue - and will work to ensure that TfW mitigates the detrimental effects of the work as well as possible (especially with regard to residents living near the works).
It will also work to ensure the maximum long-term community benefits as a result of the project.
To this end, the R&MCC Chair wrote personally to Mark Drakeford, our Senedd Member - and to Kevin Brennan, our MP, seeking their support for the need to ensure those community benefits, including a new facility for the Radyr Rangers and their 350 young members.
This resulted in the enclosed, jointly-signed letter to James Price, TfW's Chief Executive Officer. In the letter, our elected representatives ask TfW to give careful consideration to: improvements to the access road running alongside Pugh's Garden centre; provision of a 3G pitch; a new building which could include changing rooms, a small room suitable for meetings and a veranda for spectators to shelter under - as well as work to ensure better presentation to the public of the ancient monument itself, namely the Mound.
Mark Drakeford and Kevin Brennan's letter will help ensure that TfW gives these proposals full, fair and careful consideration. This letter is sure to boost the prospects of the community benefits we seek - and will surely be warmly welcomed by the Radyr Rangers, their players, parents and other interested parties.
Some of our readers will know that Radyr is twinned with Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu (since 17 May 1986, in fact).
You may be wondering, however, where Saint-Philbert is located - and what can be found there.
Here's a link if you want to find out a bit more about our twin-town: Saint-Philbert.
It was founded following construction of the abbey of Carolingian Deas, established in the ninth century (pictured above).
It's a town of more than 9,000 inhabitants (a population which is growing steadily mainly due to the proximity of the Nantes area). It has a rich historical and environmental heritage which makes it a tourist attraction - and it is located just twenty kilometres from the Atlantic coast.
It is situated about 25 miles south-west of Nantes and stands on the southern shores of Lac de Grand Lieu. The La Bologne river runs through the town. St. Philbert has very good shopping centre - although the area is mainly agricultural with 300 hectares of vineyards, mostly producing the Muscadet wine.
If you want to now more, you can visit the town's website (which is all in French) or contact our Twinning Fellowship.
The Community Council discussed the TfW proposals during its meeting on Thursday, 21 January. This will include building two works compounds at the Mound Field (for works on the railway) / Gelynis farm (for building a new bridge) - and one at Radyr Station. The following was agreed:
1. Radyr & Morganstown Community Council agrees that the electrification of the Valleys Lines will benefit commuters, including commuters who live in Radyr and Morganstown. It will provide more frequent, quieter, less polluting trains - and this should be welcomed.
2. Radyr & Morganstown Community Council accepts and recognises that locating a suitable bridge and compounds at the Mound Field/Gelynis site (as well as at Radyr Station) will be required in order to deliver the Transport for Wales project.
3. Radyr & Morganstown Community Council will focus on:
4. Radyr & Morganstown Community Council notes the proposed mitigation measures and will continue to work with Transport for Wales to ensure that maximum mitigation is implemented as well as possible and to liaise with residents with regard to what they can expect.
5. Radyr & Morganstown Community Council will respond to the planning application for the bridge when it is submitted.
6. Radyr & Morganstown Community Council will publicise the Transport for Wales complaints number when it becomes available.
7. Radyr & Morganstown Community Council will:
8. Radyr & Morganstown Community Council will consider further the possibility of installing a Morganstown Halt
9. RMCC Environment Committee will liaise with Transport for Wales with regard to environmental surveys and keep a watching brief. The status of the Site of Important Nature Conservation will be checked with Cardiff Council.
You can read more about the TfW project here.
We have been liaising with Cardiff Council for quite a while - about the number of HGVs using our main road as a short-cut. This leads to more congestion, noise, and pollution.
In fact, HGVs should not be using Radyr and Morganstown as a short-cut, because long-standing traffic restrictions forbid entry along the road for HGVs, unless they require access to deliver to some specific site within our community. Here is the sign that makes this clear (just after the quarry roundabout):
To combat illegal use of our main road, Cardiff Council will instal new cameras in April. These will send to the DVLA images of HGVs that enter Radyr and Morganstown. Those images will be compared with a DVLA database to check whether or not the HGV has a permit to deliver to a site within the community. If not, a fine will be issued.
Permits will need to be arranged by those taking delivery, in liaison with the HGV company. Permits can be issued retrospectively, to avoid paying a fine.
We understand that this will be the first time that such a system will be instaled in the UK. It will be interesting to see how it works - and we hope that it will significantly reduce the amount of HGV traffic travelling through Radyr and Morganstown.
We also understand that buses are exempt from the HGV restriction - and will continue to be.
A local drone pilot has spotted what looks like new sustainable urban drainage installations newly installed above Llantarnam Drive. We thought we'd share the pictures with you (we've blotted out the garden features). Whatever they're for - we hope they work!
Readers of this site will remember that we reported this month that the above Royal Mail site was likely to close for good. This was revealed to us in a letter from the company's Public Affairs Manager.
We wrote to Royal Mail again, setting out our concerns about the proposed closure, as follows:
Alas, we were unable to convince Royal Mail of our case - and today we received this letter, conveying the news that the Gwaelod depot would be no more:
As you can see, the letter promises an effective service for those who are out when the postman calls. We can but hope that this will prove to be the case. And, indeed, we can see no reason why not.
It just remains for us to invite you to enjoy this suitably themed song by that great band from the 60s and 70s, the Beatles:
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