The leader of a campaign to get a mile long piece of road to ease traffic and pollution levels at Llanbedr in North Wales has slammed the Welsh Government for what he claims is throwing the village ‘right Royally under a camper van’.
He also claims that Llanbedr has been ‘greenwashed’ by Welsh Government, a claim also being made in Llanelli by campaigners calling for a solution to their pollution problems.
Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company or government’s products or policies are more environmentally sound. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company or government’s products or polices are environmentally friendly.
Speaking about the massive problem of traffic blocking a small section of road in the heart of Llanbedr and the Welsh Government’s U turn on providing an easement road of 1 mile in length Karl Ciz, an environmentalist who lives in Llanbedr said:
” We have had one fatality and old people are having shopping knocked out of their hands, children are walking and cycling on a dangerous road with no pavements or a cycle path.”
Mr Ciz said that villagers are victims of the traffic and they are not being treated equally with decisions made for the South of Wales. He said that they needed economic prosperity and that he could not understand why a road in the south which was ten times the size of the road they are calling for was approved.
The environmentalist said: “Families are affected by nitrous oxide levels, Children have to walk to school and they are at exhaust level height. Vehicles are pulling away with black smoke and we know where that smoke is gong. We don’t have any rights to health and we don’t have rights to prosperity or equality which we believe has been robbed from us.
“Alternative solutions won’t help. Some suggest yellow lines down the main road so residents have to park outside the village but many of us would then have to walk for hundreds of yards with our shopping down two lanes of traffic with no pavements.”
Mr Ciz said that he had moved to Llanbedr because Gwynedd had declared a climate change emergency. He said: “We changed our heating from coal to air source, we changed our vehicle from diesel to electric. We are the 60% We are the people who’s hearts and minds are already with the government when changes need to be made. As an environmentalist I feel Llanbedr is one massive greenwash. It is a greenwash from beginning to end.”
Speaking about the report made by Welsh Government Mr Ciz said: “If you look at the report it is highly unbalanced. All we are asking for is for balance to be brought back to the situation. We believe the Labour Government has behaved like a fascist government really. They have taken what is essentially a decision that was a very complex decision and turned it into a very simple we need to save CO2 decision.
“I am a Plaid member and I think the policies they have agreed sit very firmly where we want to be We do work about not having the representation. We have a very supportive local representation but where is our national representation?
“We do support the idea of cooperation. On the other side we have to look at what we get out of that. All we would ask is if you are going to do a deal make sure it ensures we are treated with equality with those down south.
“If we look at the Llanbedr situation the report that the Minister based his decision on was mono directional We have wasted £1.7 million already. The bats have their bypass, the badgers have all their things sorted all we need to do is build the road. The council have written to Mark Drakeford. This is a swizz on the people of Gwynedd. At this stage we are not getting any responses from Welsh Government. Somebody need to look at this report again and base it on local information. Local sources that know the situation on the ground better than they do at central government.
“This is about more than pollution. It is about economic development, it is about the health and safety of the people that live in the village.”
Mr Waters has a habit of ignoring information that doesn’t support his point of view and only listening to that information that does.
Listen to the full interview here:
Ray Jones who is campaigning along the same lines to get a small section of road or a change in direction of traffic to use existing right turns into the Stradey Estate said: “Sandy Road is similar to Llanbedr only on a much larger scale. Mr Waters won’t answer my questions on the cost of a £50 million by pass or on why he is against the by pass, the third exit out of the site or the eastern exit out of the school. Llanelli is totally ignored because it is a safe Labour seat and Nia Griffith has given up. Lee Waters used Sandy Road the Monday before the Senedd Election canvassing votes from the very people he was going to betray and stab in the back.
“I sympathise with Mr Ciz and the residents of Llanbedr. What we have here is a government minister who is sacrificing the health and well being and economic prospects of generations to come. he does not live in Llanbedr and he does not live on Sandy Road. He has a home in a rather nice leafy area of Llanelli. This is a man who claims he champions the environment and healthy living . Nothing could be farther from the truth. He has ignored our community and the community of Llanbedr and is blindly leading this nation down the road where only the wealthy and his pals will be healthy and eating fresh fruit and vegetables and platefuls of fresh Welsh meat sticking two fingers up to the rest of us out of the window of his expensive electric car.
In relation to issues of clean air at Sandy Road and at Llanbedr a Welsh Government spokesperson said,
“Local authorities have a legal duty to manage air quality in their areas. Sandy Road is part of the Llanelli Air Quality Management Area declared by Carmarthenshire Council.
“We are currently considering ways in which the overall framework governing anti-idling can be strengthened. This will involve working with stakeholders, including local government, to address issues relating to idling.”
In relation to the issues in Llanbedr a Welsh Government spokesperson said,
“We have engaged with the council throughout the process and as requested by the council, undertook a rapid review of the Llanbedr access road ahead of other road schemes. We’re committed to working collaboratively with Gwynedd to develop sustainable solutions to address the issues surrounding traffic in the village and access to the airfield, such as those suggested in the Panel Chair’s report”
On 22 June I announced a review of all new road schemes funded by Welsh Government to be undertaken by a panel of leading experts on transport and climate change. The Panel, Chaired by Dr Lynn Sloman MBE, will set tests for when new roads are the right solutions for transport problems, in line with Llwybr Newydd, the Wales Transport Strategy.
The climate emergency makes it imperative that we avoid investment that increases carbon emissions, especially in the next 15 years when most cars on the road will still be petrol and diesel vehicles.
The Llanbedr Access Road scheme has been taken forward by Gwynedd Council with funding from Welsh Government. As the scheme is at an advanced stage of preparation the panel chair was asked to ‘fast-track’ its review of the Llanbedr scheme.
I have received and reviewed the chair’s report.
The review focussed on two questions:
- Has sufficient consideration been given to non-transport solutions and solutions other than those increasing private car capacity on the road network?
- Has sufficient consideration been given to whether the road proposal will lead to increased CO2 emissions on the road network, or cause significant impediment to achievement of our decarbonisation targets?
This review of the Llanbedr scheme also took into account Wales’ Well-being Goals; the new Wales Transport Strategy Llwybr Newydd; Future Wales; Planning Policy Wales; the forthcoming Net Zero Wales low carbon delivery plan; and the current review of the WelTAG transport appraisal process.
The Panel Chair visited Llanbedr to see the location of the road scheme, and met Gwynedd Council, Aerospace Wales, and Welsh Government officials with responsibility for regional development, industrial transformation and transport infrastructure in North Wales. A written representation was received from Cymdeithas Eryri / the Snowdonia Society.
The chair’s report concludes that the proposed scheme does not align well with new Welsh Government transport and climate policy, and advises that it is not taken forward: Roads Review Panel: Llanbedr access road and bypass.
I have accepted the chair’s recommendations and Welsh Government will not support any further work on the current Llanbedr Access Road scheme.
However, I am committed to providing funding for the development and implementation of an alternative package of measures to address the negative impact of traffic in Llanbedr and in other villages on the A496, whilst also encouraging modal shift and reducing CO2 emissions. The package can also consider access requirements to the airfield to support associated developments. I have asked my officials to work with Gwynedd Council to commission Transport for Wales to develop an alternative package for consideration, in line with the chair’s recommendations. Any Welsh Government funding for this package will be via the Local Transport Fund and subject to the usual application process.