* The new one-way sign at the junction of Church Street and the A5.
Specially for llanblogger Llangollen county councillor Graham Timms has explained the thinking behind the Covid-19 traffic changes which are currently being put in place around the town.
Why has the parking been removed from Castle Street?
Whilst businesses need all the custom that they can get in these difficult times, it is essential that everyone feels safe and welcome on our streets.
Many local residents felt that the crowds and lack of space made them nervous about going into the centre.
It was impossible to observe social distancing on the very narrow pavements on both sides of Castle Street.
In August and September and on fine weekends the pavements were much too crowded and something had to be done to make Llangollen safe for residents and visitors.
Removing the parking provides extra room for this. A more relaxed pedestrian experience will encourage more time (and money) to be spent in the shops in the town centre.
Why use lane defenders?
We asked if the street could be separated from the pavement using wooden planters instead.
Unfortunately there are strict rules about this - it’s about safety for pedestrians. Planters would be dangerous if a vehicle collides with them as they would slide, possibly causing injury.
The lane defenders offer much more protection even though they don’t look anywhere near as nice.
Why has all the extra space been added to one side of Castle Street?
In an ideal world the space would have been added equally to both sides of the street. Unfortunately this would have left a very narrow strip of ground at street level on both sides with a curb up onto the original pavement. This would have made the likelihood of tripping on the curb much more likely.
So why was the east side of Castle Street chosen?
The pavement on the west side of the street has much more width by Y Capel and down past the Town Hall. It was decided to add the extra space to the east side for this reason. ‘Llangollen 2020’ plans will have the extra width divided between both sides and the whole pavement will be raised to the same level.
Is there any free parking in car parks?
Yes. To mitigate the loss of parking on Castle Street Denbighshire have provided free parking for two hours during normal shop opening hours until the end of December. We asked for a free half hour in all car parks to allow residents to ‘pop and shop’ but we were told that the concession would be the same for each town.
We’ve asked for some free parking next year too, but no decision has been made just yet. We’re pushing for the free half hour in all car parks rather than the current two hours in East Street only.
Church Street - Why does reversing the one-way system help to improve road safety for parents and children on their way to school?
Church Street is used by many parents and children on their journey to and from school. Walking and cycling is being encouraged, but many other parents in cars also use this route as a short cut (illegally) which makes the route much more dangerous.
If the one-way system is reversed the traffic on Church Street will then travel towards the town from the Sun Inn.
On reaching the Hand Hotel all traffic will have to turn left, as Bridge Street will keep its original direction of traffic flow.
Chapel Street and Oak Street will have to be followed to get to Castle Street. It now takes longer to follow the new Church Street route than using Regent Street (the A5).
One way from Castle Street into Market Street. Why?
Traffic surveys show that there are more pedestrians crossing Castle Street at the Market Street and Oak Street junction than anywhere else.
Preventing traffic from leaving Market Street here will make the junction safer. Pedestrians crossing from the Market Street Car Park will only have traffic in one direction to contend with.
It will also help with traffic flow as this junction often becomes blocked at busy times. The new route from Market Street onto Castle Street will follow the current one-way system along East Street and Parade Street.
What is the point in closing the small link road between M’Eating Point and Stan’s Garage?
Traffic using this small link road often creates a hazard on the A5 right by the traffic lights. Visibility is also very poor when vehicles travel onto Hall Street. Alternative routes are much safer.
Many pedestrians also cross the A5 at this point on their way to and from Stan’s Garage and Post Office. Closing this small link road removes an extra hazard for pedestrians at this point.
Is it possible to please everyone by making these changes?