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Relic of the Past I ■ TOLL-GATE STILL EXISTING I AT CARDIFF. I Time the Corporation Should Bestir Itself and Set About Removing the Memorial. ("BY OUlt 8PSCIAIi COSRFSfONDENT.J "Why should Cardiff wait?" repeats some indignant citizen. Cardiff I wouid have you know, does not wait for anything. Cardiff is the Chicago of Wales—the most I progressive, enterprising, go-a-ltead place in the kingdom—Cardiff is like time and tide: it waits for no one. True. most worthy friend, so far as the private enterprise of Its citizens is concerned. Cardiff does not _ait: But when it comes to public Snatters, what then? Cardiff waits for a I liar boar trust—has waited 25 years, and will |>iobably wait another 25; for new muni-, eipal buildings, which are further off still; for parks, for electric lighting, for railway facilities, for everything, in fact, of a public Character. Cardiff waits daily, hourly, I toomentarily, upon the whim of monopo- lists —on its foreshore, at its railway station, I Cardiff waits. Cardiff waits daily, with curses both loud and deep, at the closed gates of the Great Western Railway, the only place of importance in Wales which lias not an open station; and in Cardiff .10ne are men brought face to face with the highway arrangements of the Middle Ages in the lone 'pike, which plays havoc with (he time, the temper, and the morals of the the time, the temper, and the morals of the men and women using the Penarth-road. The history of this 'pike is curious. In the old days the road from Cardiff to Penarth went through Canton, across the Leckwith Common, over the Leckwith Hill, and back into Penarth. Half a century or more ago the then Lord Bute and Lord Windsor, with a view of developing their property, constructed the present road across the tw&mp, and by some means or other secured powers to levy tolls for the maintenance of the roadway. The road, which extends from the Great Western Approach, in Cardiff, to Penarth, 4,000 yards being within the borough boundary, which ends at the middle of the bridge over the River Ely, is nominally private, and this con- stitutes the ground upon which tolls have Continued to be collected. Periodically the expectations of the users of the road have been raised by a movement for the redemp- tion of the tolls, and the freeing of this important approach from the encumbrance of tJie toll gate. Nothing has come of the matter, and, according to present ap- pearances, unless a. modern 'Becca is found to work deliverance for a long-suffering people, nothing is likely to come of it. The Glamorganshire County Council made a aplurge in the matter some time ago, and invited the Cardiff County Council to join in the movement, but the affair soon fizzled out. Now the respective county councils are waiting upon each other, and Cardiff waits daily at the gate. The members of the Cardiff Corporation profess to be very anxious to see the ques- 'f tion grappled with ana settled, and to be ready to do all they can for the furtherance of that desideratum. But the revelations made at the public works committee on Thurs- day show that for years they have been doing just the opposite. Will it be believed that the corporation have actually taken over nearly a fourth of the borough portion of this private road, declared it a high- way, and are maintaining it out of the rates if at an expense of J3300 to JB500 per annum, thereby relieving the owners to that extent, and in the same proportion increasing the price which will have to be paid for the tolls when they are redeemed? Years ago the cor- poration were actually offered £ 400 a year by Lord Bute's agents, on the condition that they took over the charge of the 4,000 yards of roadway within the borough. This offer was declined, on the ground that the amount i was too small, and the corporation proceeded f to demonstrate their sagacity by taking over sections of the road, equal to a.bout 900 yards, and maintaining them without any charge at all, except upon the unfortunate owners of private property, who are called upon to contribute the cost of constructing a roadway which should be borne by the receivers of the tolls. Now that the matter is being raked over we are told that all this was done at the instance of a gentleman, then a member of the council, who had especial reasons for cultivating the good graces of the Grangetown people, but who has since realised to the full the fickleness of popular favour. Whoever is responsible, it is very evident the affair has been grossly mis- managed, and the further discussion on the matter at the special meeting of the public works committee to be held next week will be looked forward to with interest. Mean- while, Cardiff waits with increasing impa- tience for relief from the obnoxious impost of the Penarth 'pike.


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