Archive for 28 December 2002

No place in Wales for an Elite

Owain Wilkins

Integrated Transport key to Ponty’s Future

I was dismayed at the news in last week’s Observer that the nationalists at RCT Council are intent on destroying Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, branding this destructive move as “regeneration”.

When I took a trip to Bruges in Belgium with BEBB last year, I saw how town centres are effectively managed. Bruges, like Pontypridd is a market town, with beautiful parks and walks, and an extensive historical and cultural background.

The integrated transport policy in Bruges allows pedestrians, cyclists, rail users and motorists to access well maintained leisure facilities and retail services easily and cohesively.

All Plaid Cymru can propose is to build over the very park a RCT Council advertisement recently described as ‘the Jewel in the town of Pontypridd’.

Whilst Bruges has not banned the motorist, the authority has recognised the need to develop a transitional approach to limiting the use of cars.
Motorists can park their car outside the town and get a free bus in, cycle tracks near the parks make travelling more a leisure activity and less like running the gauntlet, and pedestrian areas are safe and attractive.

Why can’t this council be more innovative and lose this 1980s mindset that they seem to hold so dear? Why can’t we have more secure out-of-town parking with bus links?

Why can’t the university’s large car park be used as a park-and-ride at the weekend? The people of Pontypridd want more shopping and leisure facilities in the town, not more parking.

New Social aid tested

A graduate student in Wales is experimenting with a system, dubbed PARLE (for Portable Affect Recognition Learning Environment), that could help people with Asperger’s Syndrome or high-functioning autism feel more comfortable in social situations

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