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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Town centre "Active Travel" work to start on November 2, says county

* Castle Street parking will be suspended by the Active Travel scheme.

Work will begin to help social distancing and make it easier to travel around the town on Monday November 2, says Denbighshire County Council.

The long-awaited start date is officially given in a letter due to be sent out to residents in the affected areas soon, according to one of the area's two county councillors Graham Timms.  

The letter, which has been shown to llanblogger in advance of its release, says: "The proposed works, which will be introduced on a trial basis, for up to 18 months, include reversing the one-way restriction on Church Street from an easterly movement to a westerly movement between its junction with Chapel Street and its junction with Regent Street, with the purpose being to reduce instances of ‘rat running’ and to provide improved access to schools and the town centre for pedestrians and cyclists.

"Further measures include the introduction of a widened pedestrian area on the eastern side of Castle Street between its junction with Bridge Street and its junction with Regent Street. 

"This will be achieved with the introduction of bolt down kerbing and will provide enhanced facilities for people to social distance and travel actively. In order to facilitate this, on-street parking will be suspended on Castle Street for the duration of the trial period.

"A one-way restriction will also be introduced on Market Street between its junction with Castle Street and its junction with East Street. Vehicles will be allowed to enter Market Street from Castle Street and proceed in a westerly direction. The purpose of this restriction is to provide an additional loading bay, for use by businesses, along the north side of Market Street."

Cllr Timms explained: "This is the letter going out imminently to residents in the areas where changes will happen for the covid scheme.

"Work is being carried out during the week after the school half term holidays, beginning on the 2nd November.

“During the late summer Llangollen had an unprecedented number of visitors after some of the covid-19 restrictions were lifted. Our narrow pavements in the town centre made social distancing impossible. Many residents told me that they would not even visit the town centre because of the overcrowded streets that made them feel unsafe.

“Whilst I understand that some businesses are concerned about the loss of some on-street parking, we have to ensure that everyone feels safe.

“The current local lockdown is creating very difficult conditions for traders and we need to give them all the support that they deserve. These new changes will enable residents and visitors to feel safer and encourage them to visit the town centre again."

He added: "In 2018 Castle Street had a pedestrian footfall of over a million, with a peak of nearly 140,000 in August. That’s even higher than Prestatyn and only slightly lower than Rhyl, which has a population nearly eight times the size of Llangollen.

“We need to make sure that our town remains vibrant and holds its place as the 'jewel in the crown' of its beautiful setting in the Dee valley. It needs to continue to be a major tourist destination as well as being a great place for those that live here too.

“Wider pavements will give more space for everyone and help to create a more relaxed atmosphere. Similar schemes elsewhere have shown that giving a higher priority to pedestrians makes people spend more time (and money) in town centres. It helps to create a more pleasant atmosphere and makes a return visit more likely."

The Active Travel scheme has been made possible because Denbighshire County Council has successfully acquired grant funding from Welsh Government as part of Local Sustainable Transport COVID Response Fund 2020-21. 

The letter to residents will be conducted by Gelli Civil Engineering and it goes on to give contact details for officials in charge of carrying it out.

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