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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Roadworks alert for Coed Afon
Latest local roadworks update from one.network is:
23 March - 27 March
Roadworks, Delays unlikely
Traffic management: Traffic control (give & take)
Description: Boundary box Reset lid Job in Footway (6mm Bitmac (Tarmac) )...
Works location: O/S NUMBER 5
Public facing description: one.network has automatically assigned a category of Unclassified works to this Works based on the information available. Please note: Works Descriptions are not published by Hafren Dyfrdwy.
Responsibility for works: Hafren Dyfrdwy
Current status: Advanced planning
Works reference: ZU0028102/000013239898
Monday, March 20, 2023
Latest roadworks update from county council
Latest local roadworks update from Denbighshire County Council is:
A539 Wrth / Nr Haulwen Abbey Road ABBEY ROAD 22/03/2023 22/03/2023 Adferiad/ Reinstatement
Outside property "Cip o'r Bont" MILL STREET 20/03/2023 21/03/2023 Gwaith Draenio / Drainage Works DRAINTECH SURVEYS LLANGOLLEN
A539 Wrth/ Nr GLASFRYN ABBEY ROAD 27/03/2023 29/03/2023 Gwaith Dwr / Water Works HAFREN DYFRDWY LLANGOLLEN
Wrth / Nr Haulwen Abbey Road ABBEY ROAD 31/03/2023 31/03/2023 Gwaith Carthffosiaeth/ Sewer Works ALUN GRIFFITHS CONTRACTOR LLANGOLLEN
Music service back in tune after devastating flood
* Llyr Gruffydd MS at North Wales Music Co-operative with Head of Service Heather Powell and Chair, Cllr Mark Young.
A pioneering music service that teaches children in Wrexham and Denbighshire has bounced back after a devasting flood.
The award-winning North Wales Music Co-operative – which has branches in both counties – was up and running again just 28 days after a frozen pipe burst, inundating the building and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to instruments and equipment.
According to Head of Service Heather Powell, the disaster was heartbreaking because it happened not long after they had completed a major makeover to upgrade the building.
She said: “The water from the burst pipe cascaded through the ceiling and on to all the technology which was a shattering blow.
“There was a good few inches of water and it was pretty much the whole of the main room of the building as well as the new offices because it had been leaking over the weekend when nobody was here.
“The damage was all the more awful because we’d just got the office how we wanted it and the whole team were incredibly upset.
“It was hard to know where to start but everybody pulled together and the support we’ve had from our tutors, from Cllr Mark Young, our Chairman, the two local authorities that we work with, Denbighshire and Wrexham, and from neighbouring businesses has been just fantastic.”
Thanks to a “superhuman effort” the organisation is now back on track with plans to expand the service so that even more children can benefit from the “magic of music”.
Among the co-operative’s fans is Plaid Cymru’s Llyr Gruffydd, the North Wales Senedd member, who paid a visit to their premises in Denbigh.
He said: “Music is in our DNA in Wales and it is extremely important for children because it opens up the imagination, it’s a door to all sorts of feelings and emotions and aspirations.
“My visit has been a real eye opener and I think this is so much more than I thought it would be because it’s not just a music service for schools but also a service which offers benefits in terms of wellbeing.
“There are thousands of children who benefit from this service and there would be a substantial void if it wasn’t available.
“As a governor who remembers when budgets were cut and suddenly schools themselves had to find people to come in and so on, that gap was filled by this group.
“The new Curriculum for Wales offers the use of different methods in order to teach, so this could be a key opportunity for music to reach audiences of children in a way that it hasn’t in the past.
“The co-operative is also making a very important contribution in the fact that it is providing a livelihood for the musicians.
“I have heard how the offering of this service and getting a fee for teaching in schools gives a basis for musicians to have the flexibility to be able to perform and to do other things, rather than having to find another day job.”
Heather Powell also paid tribute to the Welsh Government for developing a “fantastic” National Music Plan.
She added: “The support of the Welsh Government has enabled us to upskill the tutors, to have better equipment and to deliver more to the children.
“We’re going from strength to strength, with lots of new tutors and an ever expanding service.
“We’ve got a music therapist who does fantastic work in Denbighshire and we’ve got lots of new ensembles happening in both authorities and lots of extra-curricular courses to look forward to.
“There’s been lots of studies done about how music impacts children’s literacy and numeracy skills but I think, since the pandemic we’ve seen a massive rise in discussion about how music improves mental health and wellbeing which is more important with more people suffering than ever.
“Our plan is to continue to expand the service with more concerts, more events for the pupils, more opportunities to perform.
“As well as Denbighshire and Wrexham, we’re supporting other authorities across Wales with our virtual ’Make Some Noise’ tour because it’ doesn’t matter where the school is, whether it’s in the south, in the middle or in the north, they can access our tour which is helping other authorities to deliver the live music element of the National Music Plan.
At a time when education budgets are tight, the co-operative’s chair, Cllr Mark Young believes the not-for-profit co-operative model is the way forward to ensure that the children of Wales benefit from the “multi-layered benefits” of music.
He said: “The music co-operative has been a big success in Denbighshire and Wrexham.
“The amount of pupils accessing music because of the high quality lessons, is going up. And every level of talent gets looked after. We don’t leave anyone behind – it’s totally inclusive.
“We’re reaching more and more pupils and I’m pretty sure more and more local authorities will take up the model and we’re here, willing and able to help with that and I’m very proud to be the Chair.”
Sunday, March 19, 2023
New Hill Street junction 'dangerous' claims concerned resident
The local resident who recently predicted problems with the re-worked junction of Hill Street and the A5 has taken pictures of how it looked soon after being completed.
And he says these bear out his warnings that the scheme would cause general congestion and be dangerous to pedestrians.
It was on January 9 that contractors on behalf of the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent began work on upgrading the traffic lights and realigning the junction, providing signals to the pedestrian crossing phase.
The job, which also involved removing the bollard island at the end of Hill Street was originally due to be finished six weeks later on February 17.
It was then announced the work, controlled by temporary traffic lights on the A5, had over-run and would take until March 9.
Later there was a further extension until last Friday when the work was finally finished.
Early in March a concerned local resident who wished not be named contacted llanblogger to warn that the work could lead to congestion and would be a danger to pedestrians trying to negotiate the junction.
He said he had tried to warn the Trunk Road Agent about this but had been ignored.
Late on Friday, soon after the contractors moved out, he was at the junction taking pictures of how it was working.
And he contacted llanblogger again to say: "I took my pictures over a 10-minute period.
"You can see cars blocking the junction at every red light and occasionally at green light.
"Cars have to pull out on wrong side of road. A car exiting A5 to Hall Street cuts across cars on Hill Street, a car doesn't see the Keep Clear marking and obstructs it.
"There was lots of beeping and complaints from drivers and pedestrians.
"It is dangerous for pedestrians and causes general congestion due to the removal of the old island/roundabout."
Denbighshire County Council has been asked for a comment.
Saturday, March 18, 2023
Hafren Dyfrdwyn sends out messages about water supply issues
Around 9.30am Hafren Dyfrdwyn sent out another text message to say: "Good news! We've fixed the problem and you should see your water start to return to normal now.
"You may find it's slightly discoloured at first - this is nothing to worry about. It should clear naturally over time. We are really sorry and thank you for your patience."
Just before 8am today (Saturday) supply company Hafren Dyfrdwyn sent out text messages to people in Llangollen about water issues in the area.
It said: "We've had reports that some of our customers in your area may be experiencing a water supply issue.
"We're so sorry if you've been impacted by this. Please be assured our teams are investigating the cause.
"As soon as we've got more information, we will provide you with an update. We'll also make sure there are regular updates on www.hdcymru.co.uk."
Dee Valley bus service is back for another season
New Rotary Club is doing things differently
* Rotary Club and the Rotary Community Team members enjoy an inaugural meal at the Corn Mill in Llangollen.
The new Vale of Llangollen Rotary Club believes it is leading the world in the way it has decided to do things.
It has now adopted the new style of combined hybrid club by launching a Community Team registered with Rotary International.
It’s believed to be the first of its kind in the UK and probably the first in Rotary worldwide.
The Community Team is for anyone who has the same values as Rotary in that they want to get involved in the community with like-minded people but, for whatever reason, cannot commit to regular meetings or the financial cost of being a full Rotary member.
The new team is being formed through a
Rotary opportunity founded in 1986 under a programme called the Rotary Community
Corps. Since then, Rotary has over 11,000 such community teams in 105 countries
around the world.
Secretary Mike Lade said: “The Community Team is open to anyone over 18 years of age who wants to get involved with like-minded people, to be part of the social group and make new friends.
"It is for those who share the Rotary values, who wish to integrate with the Rotary club, our community work and Rotary projects but without the commitment and financial cost of being a Rotary member.
"That said, we always welcome those who wish to be full Rotary members. It’s
all about options and choices. The cost of being part of our Community Team is
just £10 per year. Our hybrid club is now 22 strong and growing, but we welcome
more members to join us as a community team member or a full Rotary member.”
He added: "Anyone interested in learning more about the Community Team or being a full member can contact us at any time or just drop into our weekly meeting on a Monday evening at 7.30pm at the Liberty Tavern in Market Street – no commitment at all.”
* For more information, contact Mike Lade on 07803 038858, email@example.com or see www.valeofllangollenrotary.com.
Friday, March 17, 2023
Eisteddfod seeks new motto after old one 'could be misinterpreted'
Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is looking for a new motto after fears that its current one, which refers to a ‘white world’ could be open to misinterpretation.
But its executive producer stresses this re-think does not imply the organisation has been guilty of racism.
The Eisteddfod management is currently reviewing its entire organisation to ensure it meets the standards laid down by the Charities Commission, public funding bodies and audiences.
It recently went out to consultation with its stakeholders on how the new-look festival should be marketed and received some feedback that it should be aware of 'potential misinterpretation' when translating its motto from Welsh into other languages.
That motto, which adorns the Eisteddfod official logo and other branding, reads, in Welsh ‘Byd gwyn fydd byd a gano. Gwaraidd fydd ei gerddi fo’. In English that is ‘Blessed is a world that sings. Gentle are its Songs.’
Based on a T. Gwynn Jones’ couplet, the words ‘byd gwyn’ mean ‘blessed’, come from ‘Gwyn eu bid’, the opening words of St. Matthew’s Beatitudes in the Welsh translation of the Bible.
However, a literal translation - including those provided by online translation tools and apps - is instead, 'white world'.
After the matter was aired on the BBC and on social media, executive producer Camilla King says in a statement issued earlier today (Friday): “We felt that having had this brought to our attention, it was responsible to embark on research and consultation to clarify this issue and consider potential ways forward.
“This included speaking with numerous Welsh and non-Welsh speakers, Welsh language experts and advisors, both within and outside of our organisation, locally and further afield, and our funders the Arts Council of Wales.
“Their unanimous advice was that the motto is beautiful when read with an understanding of the nuances of the Welsh language, but that for non-Welsh speakers and new generations of audiences and indeed Welsh speakers, the intended meaning is not clear enough.”
The statement adds: “As Llangollen Eisteddfod continues on an important path of renewal of our purpose in a modern world, the Board has agreed that this presents a rich creative opportunity to consider Welsh as a living and evolving language.
“At a meeting on 15 March 2023, the Board voted unanimously to work with a Bard to develop a new motto which reflects the organisation’s vision for the future.
“Our current motto and much-loved shield will remain part of the Eisteddfod’s visual identity in 2023, and the Board will spend the next five months in consultation with our stakeholders on the best way to commission our new motto, which will be unveiled for 2024.”
It goes on: “In response to this review being picked up by media and individuals on social media, we wish to provide some additional context that we feel has been misunderstood or misrepresented. We want to clearly state that we have not at any point implied any racism.
“ The Eisteddfod is, and has always been, a beacon for togetherness. We also wish to emphasise that we fully understand that the majority of Welsh speakers do not read the words ‘byd gwyn’ within the context of the motto as anything other than ‘blessed’.
“This is a matter of translation by the method most likely to be used by non-Welsh speaking audiences around the world.
“And finally, we cannot state enough that we stand by the sentiment of the words as intended by T. Gwynn Jones. As we look to the future we look forward to commissioning new poetry that builds on our proud heritage.”
Cat Meade runs fundraiser for Turkey and Syria
Community champion Cat Meade has organised a fundraiser for UAREUK - United to Assist Refugees UK Appeal for Turkey & Syria.
The details are:
More time given for Four Great Highways feedback
Local people are being more time to study and comment on Llangollen's Four Great Highways project.
A statement from the team in charge of the scheme says: "Further to our e-mail last week, we are writing to let you know that the feedback form has now been added to Denbighshire's County Conversations Engagement Portal
"Due to the terrible weather we have had over the past week, we have arranged for the designs to be on display at Llangollen Library until Monday 3 April 2023 to make sure everyone gets a chance to see them if they weren’t able to come along to our session at the Town Hall last week.
"The designs are also available on the engagement portal at the above link and will be added to the Four Great Highways webpage later this week.
"We’ve also extended the feedback deadline date to Sunday 2 April 2023 to make sure everyone has enough time to share their views with us and paper copies of the feedback form have been left at Llangollen Library for collection. Completed forms can also be handed in to the library and they will collect them on our behalf.
"We would be grateful if you could share this e-mail with your networks to make sure as many people as possible have the opportunity to provide feedback."
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Local MP welcomes measures in Spring Budget
* Simon Baynes MP, right, with the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.
Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes has welcomed the Chancellor’s £94 billion cost of living package and extension of the Energy Price Guarantee at £2,500 in the Spring Budget.
The Chancellor announced that the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) will remain at £2,500 for another three months, saving a typical family £160 on their energy bill.
He says this extension means the typical household will have saved £1,500 on their energy bills since 2022 thanks to the UK Government’s measures.
The Chancellor also announced in the Budget the end to the premium paid by over four million households using prepayment meters across the UK.
He said this will be achieved through adjusting the EPG from the 1 July to bring prepayment metered customers in line with the EPG until it ends in April 2024.
The Chancellor also announced fuel duty will be frozen for a thirteenth consecutive year, saving the average driver around £200 since the 5p cut was introduced.
Commenting, Simon Baynes MP said: “I was very pleased to meet with the Chancellor last week to put forward the issues in Clwyd South which I was keen for him to address in the Budget. I was delighted to see that he took note of my comments and those of my colleagues, and produced a very positive Budget Statement.
“Rising energy prices, caused by the aftermath of Covid and Putin’s war in Ukraine are rightfully worrying people across Clwyd South.
"Since the beginning of the energy crisis, the Government has put in place £94 billion of support and today’s announcement on the Energy Price Guarantee will be a great relief for families across Clwyd South.”
Latest roadworks alerts from county council
Latest roadworks alerts from Denbighshire County Council are:
A539 Wrth/ Nr GLASFRYN ABBEY ROAD 27/03/2023 29/03/2023 Gwaith Dwr / Water Works HAFREN DYFRDWY LLANGOLLEN
A542 BRYN MELYN RTW SUN BANK 17/04/2023 28/04/2023 Gwaith Ar Wal Gynnal/ Retaining Wall Works DCC BRIDGES AND STRUCTURE LLANGOLLEN Ffordd ar Gau/Road Closure
Wrth / Nr Haulwen Abbey Road ABBEY ROAD 22/03/2023 22/03/2023 Adferiad/ Reinstatement ALUN GRIFFITHS LLANGOLLEN
Outside property "Cip o'r Bont" MILL STREET 20/03/2023 21/03/2023 Gwaith Draenio / Drainage Works DRAINTECH SURVEYS LLANGOLLEN
A542 Wrth / Nr Haulwen Abbey Road ABBEY ROAD 31/03/2023 31/03/2023 Gwaith Carthffosiaeth/ Sewer Works ALUN GRIFFITHS CONTRACTOR LLANGOLLEN
O/S GARDD GERRIG TO THE TOWER TOWER ROAD 24/04/2023 19/05/2023 Gwaith Nwy / Gas Works WALES & WEST (DCC) LLANGOLLEN Ffordd ar Gau/Road Closure
Council scheme aims for a safer Brook Street
Denbighshire County Council wants local people to get involved in a scheme to make everyday journeys along Brook Street in Llangollen safer and more enjoyable.
Leaflets have just gone out in the area outlining the project on which the council is working with Sustrans Cymru to find safer ways of walking, wheeling and cycling along the street, which connects the A5 with Pengwern, two junior schools and the community hub.
The leaflet says: "As the people who live, work, travel and play in the area we need you to tell us how Brook Street could work better to help people walk, wheel and cycle for their every day journeys.
"Everyone is welcome to join the conversation and we want to hear ideas and experiences from across the community."
You can get involved in person at a co-design workshop to be held at Llangollen Town Hall on Wednesday March 22, from 7-8.30pm.
Residents can share their ideas and feedback by visiting the project website hosted by Sustrans: https://sustrans.info/ActiveTravelLlangollen
The survey will be available online for three weeks until 03.04.2023.
Paper versions of the consultation can be obtained by contacting Sustrans Cymru via email: Llangollen@sustrans.org.uk or by writing to them at Sustrans Cymru, One Canal Parade, Dumballs Road, CF10 5BF Cardiff.
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Holy Cross Lentern events continue
Holy Cross Church in Oak Street, Llangollen has a number of special events for Lent.
It is hosting a series of Lenten soup kitchens at Holy Cross Rooms each Friday throughout Lent, with the exception of Good Friday, from 12noon-1.30pm. The next is this Friday.
All are welcome and entrance is through the church or along the alleyway next to the butchers.
All proceeds will go to the Turkey and Syria disaster fund.
Foraging trips along Llangollen Canal organised
Leah Apostolou, the founder of Living Wild, has arranged a series of foraging walks along Llangollen Canal in the near future.
Living Wild delivers workshops which educate and inspire people to reconnect with, and protect our environment and empower people by teaching skills like foraging and bush craft to bring them closer to nature and promote wellbeing.
The first walk of the season is coming up on Sunday March 26, followed by a few more over the Easter holidays. Summer dates will be published at a later date.
Meanwhile, to whet the potential forager's appetite, Leah has written a special article for llanblogger showing five beginner-friendly wild foods to look out for.
1 - Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioicia)
This mighty little plant is often overlooked because of its prickly nature, but don't be fooled into thinking this plant is anything but wondrous! The Stinging Nettle is one of the most nutritionally dense, wild foods growing abundantly around us rich in vitamins A, C & K, and packed with iron and protein. There is so much to say about Nettles it won't fit in this little paragraph. Use them in bread, cakes, soups, pestos, juices and teas.
2 - Cleavers (Gallium Aparine)
Also known as sticky weed, goose grass and sticky willy because of its entertaining ability to stick to anything! In Spring, our bodies are waking up and shedding the toxins accumulated from dormancy and indulgence over the Winter months. This wonderful little plant is the perfect ally for detoxification. Collect a good handful and leave it to steep in water for a few hours, for a refreshing cucumber tasting water which stimulates the lymphatic system.
3 - Primroses (Primula Vulgaris)
These dainty little flowers are a wonderful addition to salads and as a decorative garnish.They can be sugared and used to decorate cakes beautifully. The fresh green leaves are also edible and can be eaten cooked or raw. In Scottish legends it was said that if you ate Primroses you would see a fairy!
4 - Wild Garlic (Allium Ursinum)
A firm foragers favourite, it’s versatile, delicious and nutritious! This potent wild herb grows abundantly from mid February through to May. It loves shady damp spots in woodlands.. Careful not to confuse this one with Lords and ladies - Arum Maculatum which grows in amongst wild garlic. Harvest selectively and make sure you have that strong garlic scent to confirm your ID.
5 - St Georges Mushrooms (Calocybe Gambosa)
St George's are so called because they tend to appear around St George's Day (23 April). One of the only white mushrooms growing at this time of the year they are fairly easy to identify for beginners. Check for a cream/buff coloured cap, white/cream gills, a thick stem and a cucumber/flour smell.
Leah's messages to potential foragers are:
* Remember to pick mindfully and sustainably, these plants and fungi are part of a winder ecosystem which we need to protect.
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Llangollen Leisure Centre to host Comic Relief dancethon
Llangollen Leisure Centre is to host a Comic Relief Clubbercise dancethon between 6-8pm on Friday.
A post on its Facebook page says: "This coming Friday 17th March is our Clubbercise Danceathon session...raising money for Comic Relief. Get set for an evening of fun, laughter, dance and cake.
"We will be taking donations on the door and cake will be for sale throughout the evening. Get on your dancing shoes and come along for a night that will leave you GLOWING.
"And don't worry, you don't have to dance all night.
"Members get booking via the app or at site. Non-members or first timers - we will accept a donation on the door (minimum £4). Bring a friend along and get ready for a night you won't forget."
MS hails local businesses as figures show more people in work
A Member of the Senedd spoke of his pride after it was revealed that unemployment in his constituency has fallen significantly in the past decade.
In the Senedd last week, Clwyd South MS Ken Skates told was by Economy Minister Vaughan Gething that the unemployment rate was 3.7% - down from 6.4% in 2013.
Mr Skates said: “It really is quite incredible and demonstrates how relentless the Welsh Government has been in creating job opportunities in Clwyd South and across Wales.”
Mr Skates expressed his concerns that the loss of "millions upon millions of pounds of EU funding and the crashing of the UK economy by Tory Ministers" could impact future job creation in Clwyd South.
However, he says it’s testament to local businesses and local people that his constituency is outperforming other areas of the UK.
“The unemployment rate in Wales continues to track below the UK average, and Clwyd South continues to have a lower rate than the Welsh average,” said Mr Skates.
“Considering we have suffered a decade of austerity and recession, and a pandemic, it’s really encouraging to see our area performing comparatively well.”
Mr Skates, a former Economy Minister, said crucial support from the Welsh Government to key employers – including Pat’s Coaches, The Plassey Leisure Park, Neatcrown, Read Construction and Charles Owen in Rhostyllen – during the height of the pandemic helped safeguard ‘hundreds, if not thousands’ of local jobs.
He also said previous Welsh Government initiatives such as Jobs Growth Wales have helped people into work in Wrexham and Denbighshire.
But he added: “While I welcome these figures, we remain in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis and local unemployment is still higher than we would like. It’s not a cause for wild celebrations, and I’m certainly not saying everything is rosy, but I’m proud of what the Welsh Government has done to protect jobs in Clwyd South and I’m proud of our local businesses for continuing to withstand the storm.”
Mr Skates believes "chronic under-funding from Westminster" is also stymying what the Welsh Government can do to build on the strong foundations laid in recent years.
Mr Gething told the Senedd: “I’m deeply concerned about the choices made by the UK Government, because they leave Wales short. Newsnight recently undertook an investigation where they thought the gap might be as much as £1.4bn.
“The UK Government haven't listened to us, they haven’t listened to businesses. If only we had a UK Government on the same wavelength, prepared to invest in the future in a collaborative way, we could ensure that we make even further progress in creating goodquality employment in Clwyd South and the rest of Wales.”
Healthy eating sessions to be held at Pengwern Hub
One-hour sessions exploring ways to eat healthily, use store cupboard ingredients and provide tips for saving money when food shopping will be held in Llangollen next week.
The sessions, entitled Eat Smart, Save Better, are being run by South Denbighshire Community Partnership.
They will go ahead at Pengwern Community Hub on Tuesday March 21, between 10.30 and 11.30am and then between 1 and 2pm.
You can register by calling 01490 266004, or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org South Denbighshire Community Partnership.
Organisers say there are limited spaces and booking is essential.
There will be a free bag of ingredients for every participant.
Genesis - the birth of a new luxury car
Genesis GV70 drive by Steve Rogers
Good looking car, what is it? Haven’t seen one of these before.
Plenty of admiring comments but the name is a bit of a mystery in these parts. Guy the plumber thought the car on my drive had the look of an Aston Martin. May be, from the front.
It seems the Genesis message is struggling to get past Watford which might be down to initial thinking that most of the sales for this relatively new premium brand would be in the south, ‘where the money is’.
Genesis has been around for two years, the brainchild of Hyundai which funded this luxury brand to expand its burgeoning empire - think Toyota and Lexus.
And it is doing it differently. No flashy showrooms, you pop into a city centre studio for a virtual tour of chosen model and buy online with the help of a personal assistant who looks after the customer in a cradle to grave operation along with a generous five year warranty package.
The first studio was in London, where else, but there is life past Watford and a studio has been opened in Edinburgh which ties in nicely with the Genesis sponsored Scottish Open golf tournament, and there is talk of another somewhere in the middle.
There are six Genesis models with a full compliment of petrol, diesel, hybrid, electric and the GV70 is the best seller. It is an SUV with the likes of Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Lexus NX in its sights.
First impressions? Very good. An imposing in your face grille, clearly there to make a statement, flowing lines and coupe style roofline. The rear quarter window is eye catching too.
First impressions inside? Wow. Make that a double wow. All the premium brands, Audi in particular, have beautifully finished cabins but lack a bit of design flair. The Genesis stylists have gone that extra mile to make GV70 look special with brushed aluminium oval shapes and inserts.
A wide 14.3in infotainment screen dominates the dashboard with enough information to rival Encyclopedia Britannica. It is easy to navigate the menus either by touch or, better still, by using the rotary controller which is safer when driving. There is a minor design glitch here because there are two switches placed line astern between the seats, a gear selector with the screen controller in front.
Trouble is I invariably grabbed the screen switch when I wanted the gear selector. It was the same for my wife. Solution. Switch them round.
No such problems with the driver’s binnacle which has traditional speedo and rev counter dials, digital of course, with a separate central display to access relevant driver information. A head up display with digital speed, navigation instructions, safety warnings etc completes the picture.
GV70 is a car that puts you in a good frame of mind even before setting off. Comfy seats, good driving position, and it doesn’t take too many miles before you feel the comfort from a well damped suspension. There is a sport setting which firms up the ride but this is an SUV, not a sports hatch, so I stayed in comfort mode and enjoyed the ride.
A car this size it is a natural five seater although the all wheel drive transmission hump is a bit of nuisance for the middle seat passenger. But there is ample leg and head room for taller folk. A small improvement would be a three-way split for the back seat instead of the current 60-40. Boot space is plentiful but not class leading. A handy touch is an underfloor slot for the boot cover.
A good game for children is ‘find the tailgate opening button’. It is cleverly placed at the base of the rear wiper which might be a better slot for the camera which is low to the ground and gets covered in grime in a flash.
The surprise package is a diesel option. I thought diesel had gone out of fashion but if it suits your needs then this 2.2 litre is very refined and good for 38-39mpg. It is not the quickest in the SUV pack but may be we make too much of the odd second in a sprint to sixty league table. The bottom line is it is quick enough and well catered for with an eight speed automatic box with steering wheel paddle shifters should you need to up the engine response.
It is going to take a while for the Genesis brand to catch on, but catch on it will because this is a formidable, well equipped package even if you end up paying extra for luxury packs which is the way of the world with the premium brands.
Genesis GV70 Sport Line AWD
£41,800 (£49,260 tested)
2.2 litre diesel; 206bhp
0-62mph 7.9secs; 133mph
186g/km. 1st tax £945
Boot: 542-1678 litres
Insurance group 44