Cross-party call for Interchange consultation

November 16, 2013 5:25 PM
Cllr. Ed Bridges and Eluned Parrott AM by Gabalfa Interchange

Local Lib Dems, Eluned Parrott AM and Cllr. Ed Bridges, have repeatedly called for Cardiff Council to consult with the public over changes at Gabalfa Interchange.

Opposition councillors in Cardiff will make a joint call on Thursday for the city's Labour administration to conduct a public consultation over controversial changes at Gabalfa Interchange.

Since August, a trial road safety scheme has been in place at the roundabout, which sees 50,000 vehicles pass by every day. However, the changes have attracted severe criticism from local residents and commuters - leading to calls for a public consultation before the scheme is made permanent.

Ed Bridges, Liberal Democrat councillor for Gabalfa ward, will be proposing a motion to Thursday's council meeting, supported by members of the Rhiwbina Independent group and other opposition councillors. He said: "No-one is arguing against the idea of trying to improve safety and reduce congestion at the Gabalfa Interchange - it was for that reason that there was unanimous support for a trial scheme in the summer. But the Labour council now want to push ahead and make the scheme permanent, when it is clear that there is no public mandate for that. A recent online poll showed that 80% of people want the council to go back to the drawing board on this matter, so it's clear that the council are out of touch with the public mood."

The row has been fuelled by a recent Cardiff Bus decision to reduce the number of routes serving the area, partly because of the increased congestion caused by the trial road layout. Cardiff Bus have said that, from January, the 21 and 23 services will go straight over the flyover at the Interchange, missing out stops by Laytonia Avenue and Margam Road.

Eluned Parrott, Lib Dem Assembly Member for South Wales Central, has criticised Cardiff Bus, saying: "Like the Labour-run council, Cardiff Bus are pushing ahead with changes which will have a damaging impact on citizens without any sort of dialogue or consultation. They need to ask passengers what they think of these proposed changes and see if a compromise can be found. What are they so scared of? It cannot be right for our council and our main local bus company to be acting in such an underhand and unaccountable manner."

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