April 20, 2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

500 sign petition against town centre ‘improvements’

MORE than 500 people have signed a petition asking for bollards designed to improve walking and cycling to be removed from another North Wales town centre.

The petition, organised by Llangollen town councillor Stuart Davies, calls for the removal of temporary measures which were installed as part of an active travel grant handed to Denbighshire council by Welsh Government.

Cllr Davies said he’d had confirmation from the local authority that officers were considering the petition.

He said if the 532-signature plea was acted on it would allow resumption of on street parking and unloading for businesses, residents and visitors.

Similar plans were rejected in Denbigh and the authority has already agreed to reverse the scheme in Ruthin.

Cllr Davies said: “I am in favour of an appropriate Covid response for Llangollen covering all public areas.

“I want to make it quite clear this isn’t about campaigning to remove social distancing measures.

“This is about representing the voices of hundreds of people. The measures which have been put in place are inconsistent and have limited impact on Covid-19 safety.

“The personal safety of people has been put at risk and some have been injured as result of trips and falls.”

The measures were proposed for Rhyl, Llangollen, Denbigh and Ruthin with an £891,000 grant from Welsh Government last year.

The idea was to widen pavements and make one way systems in towns which would give more room for pedestrians and reduce traffic, using temporary bollards studded to the road.

Opponents said the measures – brought in for an initial 18-month trial – created traffic problems, reduced parking for those wanting to pop into local businesses, and were unsightly.

The scheme never got off the ground in Denbigh after a huge campaign of opposition thwarted its implementation.

Denbighshire council didn’t go through planning or consult with local people initially.

A consultation was ordered after the scheme was highlighted in the media.

Ruthin’s bollards were ordered to be removed after numerous complaints from local residents – and business owners in Rhyl town centre have also called for the removal of the scheme, saying it had a detrimental effect on trade.

Now Llangollen residents have struck out at the scheme with Cllr Davies claiming 80% of businesses on Castle Street wrote to Denbighshire council last year to object to ther plans, before it was implemented.

He added: “The changes brought in to Castle Street in Llangollen came about as a result of a flawed initial consultation with Denbighshire county council.

“There was a lack of community awareness on the plans once published and how to respond to them once they were made public.”

Cllr Brian Jones, the county council’s lead member for waste, transport and environment said: “The petition has been received and will be looked at by officers in due course, within the required time frame.”

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