People power paves way for official Barry Island link
10:32am Thursday 3rd April 2014 in News
AN AGREEMENT to provide a much campaigned for second £2.1million road connecting Barry to Barry Island, has finally been signed.
Barry Island residents had demanded the road, via Barry Waterfront, be constructed in one phase rather than as set out under the terms of the planning permission for the regeneration of the area where it was going to be delivered in phases over a number of years.
Following extensive negotiations, all necessary agreements have now been signed to allow the road to be built in one single phase and it is anticipated the new road will be open by the summer 2015, many years ahead of schedule.
Island Residents Association (IRA) campaigner Ian Bailey welcomed the deal.
He said: “The signing of the agreement for the completion of the second access road to Barry Island comes as good news to both residents and people who want to visit Barry Island, but worry about being stuck in stationary traffic.
“We are pleased that the three parties involved have managed at long last to reach an agreement and the construction of the road actually looks like it finally has got the green light. Hooray.”
Vale MP Alun Cairns said he was “naturally delighted” the Vale Council had backed down from public pressure over a new Barry link road.
He said: “This was first announced in December, but they didn’t say that the deal hadn’t been signed.
“Full credit must go to FocusBARRY and the campaign groups on Barry Island who have long fought for this project to be given the go-ahead. Businesses based on the Island will welcome this news. They have lost so much trade in the council’s delay and dithering.
“I can remember attending a packed public meeting last year in support of residents and businesses with genuine anger over the lack of progress in delivering a new link road and I am delighted that their campaign has ultimately been successful.”
Baruc ward councillor Steffan Wiliam said he was pleased work would now be able to go ahead after 80 years of need. He said he and fellow councillor Nick Hodges had put a lot of pressure on the administration.
He said: “We dragged them kicking and screaming into doing it in one phase and making it a straight road.
“Finally we have got what we were promised. It’s a success story for the economy and the Island and a great result for all its residents. People power wins.”
Barry Waterfront Consortium spokesman Richard Keogh said: “Whilst it has been a challenging number of months for Welsh Government, Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Barry Waterfront consortium to negotiate the agreement to complete the Barry Island link road, it is fantastic to make this announcement. We can now concentrate our efforts on securing the necessary consents and then to construct it ready for an anticipated opening in summer 2015.”
Welsh Government minister for housing and regeneration Carl Sargeant said: “Thanks to this £2.1million Welsh Government interest-free loan, it’s expected that completion of the Barry Island Link Road will be brought forward by at least five years, which is great news.
“The road represents a major part of the extensive regeneration that the area has seen over the past four years and I’m delighted that work can now continue apace to help support the town, its visitors and the local community.”
Vale AM Jane Hutt said the news showed the Welsh Government working in partnership with the Vale Council and the developers for the Waterfront.
She said: “Barry Island will now get the new road it needs and this will make a vital difference to the whole of Barry. This is great news for Barry.”
Vale Council leader Cllr Neil Moore said he was delighted the necessary agreements were now in place.
He said: “This will result in an immediate start on construction and demonstrates this administration’s commitment to the ongoing regeneration of Barry and the Island.
“We have previously heard concerns about delays in providing the road, but I have always said that I would work to bring construction forward and the conclusion of the financial agreements is a significant and essential step in making that happen.”
Vale Council cabinet member for regeneration and transport Cllr Lis Burnett added: “This represents excellent partnership working between Welsh Government, the council and the consortium and is extremely good news for both residents of and visitors to Barry. We already know that the island is a popular destination for visitors and this, alongside the excellent rail connections, will add to the accessibility of the Island. We will also soon see the completion of the regeneration work on the Eastern Promenade which increases the attractiveness and importance of Barry Island as a Wales-wide tourist resort.”