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Thursday, June 25, 2020

How town got government cash to help in lockdown aftermath

* Castle Street before the lockdown.

One of the area’s county councillors has given an insight into how Llangollen was included in the list of Denbighshire towns to benefit from a £1 million funding boost from the Welsh Government.

But Graham Timms could give no specific details of the amount of money involved or how it will be spent locally.

Llanblogger revealed last week that Llangollen was to get a share of the cash earmarked by the government for Denbighshire communities in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

The county is to get £981,000 through the Local Sustainable Transport Covid Response Fund to provide improved access to town centres and schools for pedestrians and cyclists and to facilitate social distancing in public spaces and on public transport.

This is seen as especially important as people return to town centres as non-essential shops re-open.

The lockdown period has seen increases in the numbers of people walking and cycling and many of the measures proposed will further encourage people to choose these modes of transport by providing measures such as wider pavements.

Funding has been secured for projects in Llangollen, Rhyl, Ruthin and Denbigh, as well as outside schools throughout the county.

Projects include the reallocation of road space for pedestrians and cyclists by introducing one-way systems and making spaces outside schools safer for social distancing and reducing the number of car journeys outside schools.

Cllr Timms, speaking as chair of the Llangollen 2020 group, said: “We are delighted that Llangollen is one of the towns in Denbighshire that will receive funding to help residents and visitors maintain social distancing in the town.

“As soon as the Llangollen 2020 group heard the announcement by the Welsh Government of possible funding we contacted the Denbighshire road safety team to discuss what could be done to improve matters in Llangollen’s narrow streets.

“We discussed a range of suggestions with officers. The Denbighshire team then put together a final grant submission for the whole of the county. 

“It's great that Llangollen is specifically mentioned in the Welsh Government announcement, alongside Rhyl, Denbigh and Ruthin. This means that we will definitely get much needed safety improvements in the town. 

“We also asked the Denbighshire team to look at making improvements to help pupils to walk or cycle to our schools more safely after discussing the issue with Llangollen Friends of the Earth.

“Although the final details have not yet been settled, we are hoping that something can also be done to make walking and cycling to school safer for our children and young people as they begin to return to their lessons. 

“There will be detailed discussions with local councillors and other organisations in the town to ensure that the particularly difficult set of challenges that Llangollen's narrow streets pose can be met.” 

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