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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Llangollen's Four Great Highways scheme explained


Since llanblogger’s story yesterday about cash from the UK Government’s Levelling Up fund being used to support various schemes in Llangollen, readers have been requesting more details of one of these projects – ‘connectivity improvements including a new public space at the junction of Castle Street and Abbey Road’. Here Llangollen county councillor Graham Timms, who has been closely involved with what is known as the Four Great Highways scheme, explains what it is all about.

He says: “The Four Great Highways is a scheme that was conceived as another phase of the Llangollen 2020 project. We had community consultations and shared the project with the town council too.

“I understand that part of the levelling up fund for Clwyd South will be for a project based on this.

The money is split between Denbighshire County Council (DCC) and Wrexham County Borough Council.

The whole levelling up fund is being concentrated on the Dee Valley with some Aqueduct projects, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty projects, Four Great Highways, the railway to Corwen and other linked projects.

“DCC are managing the project on our side of the county boundary. We expected the Four Great Highways to be the next stage of the Llangollen 2020 project and had been actively seeking funds from a number of grant providers and received indications that it was the type of scheme that would be supported.

“It  will provide better active travel, improved disabled access between Lower Dee Mill Park, Llangollen Bridge and the wharf and a much safer route up to Ysgol Dinas Bran.

“The new public space gives a focal point at this historic junction in the town. It will provide opportunities to highlight the history of transport in Llangollen and encouraging visitors to explore our other great assets in the Dee Valley.

“The DCC part of the bid was approved for submission at a cabinet meeting in May this year. It was brought up in the "Urgent Matters" agenda item and both Mel Mile and I spike in favour of the project in the cabinet meeting.

“Details in the paper and the minutes for the May Cabinet meeting on DCC's website at: 

LUC environmental consultants, which has been working on Four Great Highways, explained in a briefing document: “The aim of the project is to draw attention to and celebrate the uniqueness of Llangollen in Denbighshire. We will explore issues such as improving access and connectivity, creating an uplift in the visual appearance of the public realm within the setting of the heritage assets.

“We will devise a network of interpretation, signage and public art which promotes a legible environment, creates a sense of place and reinforces the importance of the town’s legacy.”

Summarising the scheme, LUC said it includes:

* A proposed viewing platform located adjacent to Llangollen bridge

* A fully accessible footpath network into Lower Dee Mill Park

* Raised crossing points to resolve pedestrian and vehicle conflict

* An approach to interpretation with precedent examples.

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