CLYNE PATHS UPDATE
All the paths have been widened and the crushed stone base applied throughout the Valley. As you will have seen, work has started to apply the tarmac finish. We have been told by the contractor that the work is likely to take up to 4 weeks to complete. Please take care when using the Valley in this time, as clearly, the tarmac when first laid, is very hot and could cause injury to animals and people. We have written to the Council to ensure signage is clear and have been assured that the contractors are doing this.
A new path has been created over the field from the Shared Use Path to the car park at Ynys Newydd. This was not in the original plan and none of the local Councillors were consulted over this addition.
We want to thank you for the incredible support you have given to the campaign. You will recall that the initial petition called for the Labour Administration to address concerns including the lack of consultation, the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment and the need to protect the historical artefacts in the Valley. Your support, questions, comments and direct communication with the Council have ensured that the issues have had to be debated. Many of you have contacted local Members of the Senedd and other environmental organisations, seeking support and advice. This is true community engagement.
The Council’s own Scrutiny Programme Committee undertook an investigation into how consultation on the project (and others including the Mayals Road and Sketty Park link schemes) was undertaken. Mike Day and others presented evidence to the Committee which you can see at https://democracy.swansea.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=188&MId=9178&Ver=4&LLL=0
The Senior Transport Policy Team Leader at the Welsh Government has also said -
'During discussions, we highlighted the importance of early engagement in the detailed scheme development for all schemes to allow local residents as well as current and future users of the route to raise concerns and suggestions at the earliest opportunity.'
Clearly this hasn’t happened with the current schemes but, from contact which we have had with officers subsequently, we trust that future schemes will be subject to fuller engagement with all stakeholders and residents, which will be meaningful.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
Following pressure from the petition, and our questions, the Council has commissioned an Ecologist for the scheme. A Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) was undertaken in early January and a number of European Protected Species identified. It remains to be seen what impact the current work will have on the habitat and wildlife in the Valley.
Concerns over the safety of Shared Use Paths continue to be brought to us by worried users, whether pedestrians or cyclists, and a few near misses reported to us in recent weeks. Such concerns have been discussed with officers and some measures will be introduced, for example, bypass gates in Olchfa Lane and the exit from the former tip area, where steeper sections of the route are encountered. Officers have also told us that ’Share with Care’ signage will be introduced. While we hope that no incidents and certainly injuries occur, please let us know of any accidents or near misses, so we can inform the Council and a proper record kept.
As part of the Council’s development of the Active Travel Network, further schemes are being worked up, some of which impact the Sketty ward. We have been told of a proposed new bridge at Blackpill to cross Mumbles Road and an extension of the route towards the City Centre through Sketty Road and Walter Road.
The email we had from the officers includes the following information:
Walter Road and Sketty Road: We [the officers] intend to commence engagement with key stakeholders and the wider community regarding the project to feed into development of outline design in the next few weeks.
Blackpill Bridge Active Travel: The authority has received funding through Active Travel core allocation to investigate proposals for providing a new bridge crossing between the Clyne and the promenade to support this well used route. It is proposed that the structure would mirror the alignment of the former railway bridge and the ambition is to provide a gateway structure for the Mumbles area. It is proposed that a Teams meeting is arranged for the end of May, to include both Sketty and Mayals Ward members to highlight the work done to date and proposals for developing the scheme, along with options for consulting with the community.
We await further information and will seek to keep you updated. Please contact us on [email protected] with any questions or concerns.
The Sketty & Killay Lib Dems are listening even if Labour won't. We submitted the petition signed by over 650 people which was rejected initially and then again on appeal. We believe that this is a shocking response. The Labour controlled cabinet has effectively dismissed the views of hundreds of residents and users of the Valley.
But some progress has been made - we will keep taking signatures on the petition as this publicly shows the concerns of residents & helps us to keep you informed: