Campaigners herald overdue link
12:02pm Tuesday 24th December 2013 in News
CAMPAIGNERS fighting for a vital link between Barry and Barry Island have celebrated victory in a battle that has waged before World War Two.
Island Residents Association (IRA) members thanked everyone who had supported their demands for a second road from and to the popular seaside resort.
Their win follows years of campaigning – dating back to 1938.
The only route, on and off the Island, is currently the Harbour Road causeway and New Years Day saw motorists trapped for up to four hours due to the volume of vehicles trying to access and exit the area following the annual Whitmore Bay swim.
The road will now go ahead thanks to a £2m Welsh Government loan announced last week.
Mum-of-two Emma Burton, 33, of Gwennol y Mor, Barry Island, said: “I think the people who campaigned here have done a brilliant job.
“There is now room for a bandwagon to come through!”
Barry Island Historical Group chairman Mike Heffernan, 60, of Earl Crescent, Barry Island, said: “I hope Santa will come up on his sleigh next year.
“It’s been a long wait. They promised it in 1938. It will be well used and it’s a valuable asset in terms of safety and it will be helping businesses on Barry Island. Congratulations to everyone who campaigned for it.
Dad-of-three Ian Bailey, 45, said: “We started the campaign due to safety and the emergency services will be able to get to the Island. On New Years Day it was horrendous. The lifeboat crew can’t get to their launch and if somebody needed an ambulance...”.
Barrie Evans, 62, of Friars Road, said: “Our next campaign will be Pearl Harbour.”
Barry Island trader Marco Zeraschi said: “It was the residents that pushed this forward that extra mile. It was their campaign. The residents, traders and even the day-trippers will feel the benefits of this road.”
RNLI Barry Dock lifeboat coxswain Hugh ‘Spud’ Davies welcomed the new road as an asset to the service the volunteer crew would be able to provide to those who flock to the resort especially when a shout occurs.
He said: “If we have got a crew member around Holton Road it will be a more direct route to get here – it will definitely make things easier for the crew to get here.”
Baruc ward Barry Town councillor Shirley Hodges said: “I would like to thank the Island residents who have kept this topic alive and made their feelings known to their local councillors, especially at the public meetings we organised. Nic and Steffan have continually asked the VOG council and Assembly member for immediate action, and not given up when faced with indifference. I hope this is the start of a new chapter for the Island residents and will bring an improvement to their lives whilst providing greater economic opportunities for traders.
The road is estimated for completion in 2015 – three years ahead of the original phased schedule of 2018.