Aberdare Bypass axed by 8 academics working for the Welsh Government  

Aberdare Bypass axed by 8 academics working for the Welsh Government  

Have the majority of Welsh road users looked at the report of the Roads Review Panel, I don’t expect that they have just accepted what the 8 people on the panel have come up with and what the Welsh government has decreed. We were informed the panel was mindful that all of the goals are equally important. To rise to this challenge requires a preparedness to halt or redirect legacy schemes when they are no longer fit for purpose.

The words Climate Change and polution is two of the main reasons for the scrapped road schemes, placing the climate and ecological emergency at the heart of decision-making on future infrastructure spending. Lee Waters said, “Let me be very clear at the outset, we will still invest in roads. In fact, we are building new roads as I speak—but we are raising the bar for where new roads are the right response to transport problems.

Perhaps Lee should be looking at the congestion on our gridlocked roads without rose-tinted glasses, or is Lee a Back To The Future fan and envisage a DeLorean flying – no need for roads? Electric vehicles also need roads public transport is unreliable that’s fact, not fiction.

Roads Review Panel

Back in the real world where new roads are the right response to transport problems, the question Lee should be asking is why were the new roads planned in the first place, legacy schemes as the panel call them. Many of the road schemes were decided on safety grounds to provide less traffic in towns and villages reduce pollution better road infrastructures to help traffic flow. The Cynon Gateway was planned for these various reasons, yet a panel of academics with idealistic ideologies dismissed these improvements to the quality of life in our towns and villages.

Let’s have a look at the eight members of the Roads Review Panel appointed by Lee Waters, the panel led by Dr Lynn Sloman MBE a transport consultant based in Wales Lynn is the Founder and Director of Transport for Quality of Life, a specialist environmental and sustainable transport consultancy made up of academics.

Below taken from FORBES

“Sloman, chair of the roads review panel, lives for much of the year in Wales and is the founder and director of Transport for Quality of Life, an environmental and sustainable transport consultancy.

Speaking at a climate event in Birmingham, England, two years ago, Sloman said: “If there are lots of local facilities, people will walk and cycle to them rather than driving, and so will use cars less. And developments that have really good public transport services nearby will tend to have lower levels of car use.”

In her 2006 book, Sloman wrote that “even the better engineers and urban designers need help to tackle the problem of car dependence. The problem is not just one of road design; it is also a problem of our own thoughtlessness. Driving has become the normal, habitual, expected means of transport, and other options are not even considered.”

Julie Hunt

Chartered Engineer and Chartered Environmentalist Associate Director of Highways, Jacobs and CIHT Cymru Wales Chair attended Swansea University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.

Prof. Glenn Lyons

University of the West of England, specialising in future mobility Qualifications: BEng (hons), PhD, FCIHT, TPP (hon) Glenn is the Mott MacDonald Professor of Future Mobility at UWE Bristol, attended Cardiff University a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Driver behaviour and artificial intelligence, Driver behaviour and artificial intelligence.

Geoff Ogden

Chief Transport Planning and Development Officer at Transport for Wales attended the University of Nottingham BEng (Hons) – 1st Class, Civil Engineering BEng (Hons) – 1st Class, Civil Engineering

Prof. John Parkin

Professor of Transport Engineering and Deputy Director of the Centre for Transport and Society at the University of the West of England John has experience across all modes and specialise in cycling. Attended Imperial College London Imperial College London

BSc Civil Engineering University of Salford Transport Engineering and Planning University of Leads  PhD, Transport John has edited two books and authored ‘Designing for cycle traffic’ https://www.icebookshop.com/Products/Designing-for-Cycle-Traffic.aspx

Prof. Andrew Potter

Cardiff Business School expert in freight, logistics and operations management

Helen Pye

Head of Engagement at Snowdonia National Park | Vice Chair and Director at Europarc Atlantic Isles | Regenerative Farmer attended Aberystwyth University Bachelor of Science (BS) 1st Class Honours, Countryside Conservation Bachelor of Science 1st Class Honours, Countryside Conservation

Dr Eurgain Powell

Sustainable Development Programme Manager with Public Health Wales

Experienced local government, third sector, and Climate Change Commission for Wales and worked for the first Future Generations Commissioner for Wales! Over that time I’ve advised on policy development across transport, decarbonisation, procurement and housing, and have been able to implement a range of successful initiatives within all the organisations I’ve worked for and with including Welsh Government and attended Swansea University Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Marine Microbiology, Master of Science, Environmental Biology Pass with distinction, University of Reading Botany & Zoology.

Made up of academics

The Panel were keen to carry out stakeholder engagement to involve those affected; ensure the Review was well-informed, and hear ideas about future priorities and approaches for road investment.

For the schemes being reviewed, panellists generally met with the scheme sponsor, whether that be Welsh Government or a Local Authority.

For some schemes, the panel obtained information from Transport for Wales about other initiatives in the scheme area.

We talked with Local authorities and Welsh Government officials as well as representatives from tourism; business; freight and logistics; built environment professional institutions; the third sector; and young people.

When stakeholders contacted the Panel regarding a specific scheme, we considered their representations. Our aim was to ensure the review had access to all relevant information about schemes. (From the completed review no notice was taken of representations for better road infrastructure)

The Future of Road Investment in Wales – Roads Review Panel

Future developments planned for Cynon Valley require good infrastructure Aberdare Hospital Site has consent for 300 houses which is almost 400 more vehicles without additional delivery vehicles Mountain Ash is still gridlocked at peak times. The Panel mention Public Transport 207 times in the report, clearly none of them live in the Cynon Valley or have to drive in and out of Cynon Valley to work everyday you cannot rely on public transport to keep a job or get to your place of work and now the Welsh Government is cutting The Bus Emergency Scheme, the Welsh government recently extended the scheme into the new financial year, but only for three months.

Welsh Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters who wants to get more people on public transport, Waters then tells the Senedd that the Bus Emergency Scheme extension would give the industry a reprieve to work out which routes to keep. There is no logic in the way this Labour Government is running Wales the outcome for residents will only decline further. One train line running through the valley will not service outlying areas; electric vehicles will need better road infrastructure a fact that seems to puzzle the Welsh Government.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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