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Friday, September 4, 2020

Former chamber chair says businesses oppose Castle Street parking ban

* The county council plans to remove parking bays along Castle Street.

The former chair of Llangollen Chamber of Trade and Tourism claims banning parking in Castle Street is a waste of money and will have a “negative, deadening effect” on the town centre.

Removing the parking bays along the main street is part of the county council’s plan to provide social distancing measures in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But David Davies said: “Castle Street businesses are angered to see that the county council is proceed with the traffic order banning all parking and deliveries in the street on the pretence of Covid-19 social distancing and active travel reasons.

“Twenty eight businesses - 80% of all operating businesses in the street - individually signed letters of objection to DCC.  

“It is understood they were deemed unacceptable and irrelevant and unfortunately our two local county council representatives, Graham Timms and Melvyn Mile, failed to support the businesses objections fuelling the view that the traffic order is being used to further the plans of the 2020 Group to permanently ban all parking, 24 hours a day, in Castle Street.”

Mr Davies added: “No parking in the street will lead to loss of significant business to a number of shops including Spar and Chatwins, with no pop and shop and trades people unable to park to purchase break and lunch foods.  

“The Bull will need to unload barrels of beer in Market Street and roll them along the road into Castle Street posing a safety issue to pedestrians. 

“People delivering to the charity shops will have to carry all their contributions from the nearest car park and parking in the street to use Barclays Bank or the cash machine or access the Town Hall will not be possible.

“The idea is a waste of money and will have a negative, deadening effect on the atmosphere of our town centre.

“During the past 12 years, six professional consultants have reviewed the town’s traffic and parking and none have recommended banning all parking,  24 hours a day, along Castle Street. 

“Traders are continuing their objections to the plan.”

In a joint response, Llangollen county councillors Graham Timms and Melvyn Mile said: "These works are Welsh Government and Denbighshire County Council’s response to the very real threat of the C-19 pandemic to Llangollen. 

"We have visitors from far and wide being jammed together on our narrow pavements. A perfect scenario for the spread of C-19. How would the businesses react to another lockdown?

"The safety measures will be in place for a limited time and it’s just a coincidence that Llangollen 2020 objectives are similar.

"These measures are designed to help people move about the town in a safer manner than the chaos that we experienced in July and August, when some residents stayed away from Castle Street, literally in fear of their lives.

"They would also have been introduced much earlier if David Davies and others hadn’t gone about the traders organising their objection. 

"Those 28 objections were not ignored but were taken into consideration, as were the 146 letters of support from residents and visitors and the 95% support from those who completed the official consultation.

"We make no apologies for trying to make Llangollen a safer place for its residents, visitors, shop workers and traders."

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