ANGRY residents campaigning against plans to build an access road to Cardiff International Airport mounted a protest in Barry yesterday.
The Welsh Assembly Government has asked for the public’s view on three options for a road to the airport. But many people in the Vale do not want to see a new road at all.
A report on the three options was presented to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s cabinet yesterday members of an anti-access road action group held a demonstration outside the Civic Offices, in Barry.
Two of the three options centre on the A4232 from Junction 33 of the M4, while the third promotes a new road link south of Junction 34 of the M4 with an eastern or western bypass at Pendoylan before linking with the A48 at Sycamore Cross.
The third option was put forward by the Welsh Assembly Government in 2003 and was opposed by the Vale council. It was later withdrawn.
Coun Jeff James, the council’s cabinet member for planning, said councillors were not being asked to support or oppose any of the three options at this stage.
He said: "The council need to be fully engaged in this issue and will have to take a long hard view of the preferred option or options when it is announced by the Welsh Assembly Government."
Matthew Rees, a member of the NEVAR (No Ely Valley Airport Road) said with the airport shrinking and airlines pulling out there was no need for an access road.
He said: "They are planning to spend £130m of taxpayers money for no good reason. As far as we are concerned the access to the airport is adequate already.
"The third option would have the most environmental impact and would destroy virgin agricultural land."
Peterston-Super-Ely resident Roy Williams said there had no consultation on the premise that there should be an access road to the airport.
He said: "We get the feeling that we are being manipulated."
The proposed link road would cut through the Ely Valley
Residents of a village praised by the Prince of Wales for its community spirit were among a protest over plans for a three-lane road past their homes.
Prince Charles described Pendoylan in the Vale of Glamorgan as “wonderfully functioning” during a visit in 2005.
Campaigners say a proposed link road to Cardiff Airport would damage a number of communities across the area.
They lobbied senior councillors, who want assurances the council will be involved in decisions and ongoing work.
Member of Nevar protested as the council’s cabinet met
The council is being consulted by the Welsh Assembly Government as part of a study aimed at improving access to the airport and easing congestion around Culverhouse Cross. The consultation ends on Friday.
Members of No Ely Valley Airport Access Road (Nevar) held a protest outside the Vale of Glamorgan council’s headquarters in Barry.
The planned airport link road through the area from the M4 to the airport near Rhoose has three options.
One of these includes a bypass at Pendoylan, cutting through local countryside.
In addition to praise from Prince Charles, the village has won the best kept village in Wales award three times and the Vale’s own award 17 times.
Nicole Davies, a biologist and Pendoylan resident, said the dispersed lay-out of the village did not stop people from sharing a community spirit when work needed doing.
She said: “There is a sense of cohesion there. Everyone chooses to live there because it is one of the last unspoilt villages in an area close to Cardiff.
“[The proposed road] would destroy the valley. It would be a lot of money spent on something for which there is no demand.”
I would prefer it not to go through my property but if we all had that attitude, nothing would get built – we’ve all got to make sacrifices
John Oakley, resident
Another resident, Richard Rees, said: “I will be one of the most affected. It would go through the bottom of my land.”
The Welsh Assembly Government has said improved access to the airport is necessary otherwise congestion around Culverhouse Cross junction and on the A4232 Cardiff Bay link road will worsen.
But Nevar says the assembly’s government’s claim that 5% of traffic at Culverhouse Cross is airport-related is “suspiciously round” and “remains unsubstantiated”.
The Vale of Glamorgan council said it took the consultation exercise very seriously.
“(It) has taken the opportunity to refer to the fact that there are a number of issues for WAG (Welsh Assembly Government) to consider in progressing options,” said a spokesperson for the council.
“In this regard, the council has sought an assurance that it will be involved in ongoing work and decisions.”
The other two options involve an improvements of existing roads and a by-pass for St Nicholas.
However, at least one Pendoylan resident says he would accept a link road through his land if it was necessary.
Retired civil and structural engineer John Oakley, 67, said: “I understand why people are so upset, it’s such a beautiful valley.
“I would prefer it not to go through my property but if we all had that attitude, nothing would get built. We’ve all got to make sacrifices, unpleasant as they are.
“This makes sense when it’s for the betterment of Wales as a whole and the Vale of Glamorgan in particular.”