Island in car chaos
9:12am Thursday 10th January 2013 in Letters
UNFORTUNATELY it wasn’t a great start to the year for myself and other traders (January 1) at Barry Island. It should have been a great day - with beautiful blue skies for the first time in months and a record crowd attempting the New Year’s Day swim (which I did) just after 12pm, with queues coming out of the doors of fish and chip shops, and everyone looking for some hot food to warm up.
But Barry Island had a power cut, for the third time in the last 12 months, every time on a busy day! Financially this has cost myself and other traders thousands of pounds which, after the wettest year since records began, could not have come at a worse time. Western Power, who is responsible for the power, informed us that no compensation could be paid. Although this is a blow for business it is also a huge blow for Barry Island’s reputation as a tourist destination. As we were set into complete darkness with crowds of people queuing for hot food and hot drinks, the resulting aftermath was complete chaos! With no-one from the council (where was the resort manager on traditionally one of the busiest days of the year?), we were literally left in the dark about what was happening. As I took it upon myself to walk around the Island to find out any information, what I witnessed was complete gridlock chaos! With cars bumper to bumper searching for precious car parking spaces, tempers where flaring! The one and only car park was full and every residential street full of cars. With the mixture of people trying to get off the island and more people trying to get on (with nowhere to park) the place came to a standstill. A friend of mine later on in the day informed me that it took him three hours to get out of the car park and home to Rhoose. Eventually at some point in the afternoon the police arrived to try and bring some order to the place. They closed the road at the top of Ship hill stopping people coming onto Barry Island. This was around 3pm - not good if you had travelled to visit the Island on a rare sunny day or if you were just trying to get home! Both lanes on the causeway were opened to let people off. Consequently traffic was backing all the way up to Broad Street waiting to be allowed onto Barry Island.
If any emergency service needed to get onto Barry Island quickly they would have found it very difficult. A disastrous day for Barry Island which highlighted the importance of a second road to be built sooner rather than later, plus the need for a multi storey car park to cope with the ever growing popularity of our beautiful resort! Craig O’Shea Barry Island