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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Councillor slams county leaders over weekend's Horseshoe Falls parking

* A tractor tries to get past a line of parked cars near Horseshoe Falls.

Senior officers of Denbighshire County Council do not fully appreciate the seriousness and scale of the problems being caused by visitors' vehicles parking near the Horseshoe Falls in busy summer periods. 

That’s the stark message Llangollen county councillor Karen Edwards has for county hall chiefs as a result of last weekend’s major congestion around the famous beauty spot as hot weather brought visitors flocking to the area. 

Late last week with another very warm weekend in prospect the council sent out a press release reassuring that it was taking extra steps to handle parking near the falls. 

Yet as parked vehicles began to block the small country lanes around the attraction local people were taking to social media to complain bitterly about the traffic chaos this was causing. 

One said on Facebook: “There were cars parked on junctions, along grass verges, blind bends and on the road all the way up past Llantysilio Hall.


“Twenty+ cars all parked illegally on double yellow lines. Wing mirrors hanging off cars. A local farmer with a large tractor and trailer was struggling to get through to tend to his land.”

* Nose-to-tail parking along a country lane.

After being informed by officers that 26 parking enforcement notices were issued on the Sunday, Cllr Edwards replies to them in a a strongly-worded email: “This is not even scratching the surface of the issue and its potential impact to the local community.  

“If you consider 26 parking fines to be progress then we are clearly not looking at this issue through the same lens as nothing has fundamentally changed. 

“The road was still blocked over both days, the local community impacted and confidence in the council eroded even more.  

“I remain concerned that you do not fully appreciate or comprehend the seriousness and scale of the situation.”   

Cllr Edwards goes on: “Parking enforcement failed to put in a presence on Saturday despite being requested by Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty officers and during the afternoon two tractors with trailers of hay became trapped due to the illegal parking for over an hour, unable to go forward or reverse back.  

“The driver of one of the tractors advised that when police attended they said there was nothing they could do because there was no signage that supported the double yellow lines marked on the carriageway. 

“Had there been a medical emergency or a wildfire in Llantysilio/Rhewl at this time how would the emergency services been able to respond in a timely manner? 

“Does it take someone to die from a medical issue or assets and livelihoods to be severely impacted or lost due to a fire getting out of control before we get some joined up thinking and proper enforcement and action from all agencies to prevent this happening?”  

And dealing with last week’s county council press release, she says: “How do you reasonably expect visitors from out of area to read your press and public statements made on visitor management and parking enforcement before they arrive in Llangollen?” 

Suggesting solutions, she says: “Simply put I believe you should devote more time, resource and budget to turn people away when the car parks are full to get a park and ride bus the at you refer to you or simply go elsewhere.  

“Llangollen requires a full-time parking enforcement officer on site in the area at peak periods during the year all day. 

“Every weekend during peak season has the potential for this and if we had the same situation arise again, given all the experiences we have had, this would surely be negligent on the part of Denbighshire County Council.” 

Cllr Edwards calls for: 

Control of visitor numbers and car parking- if necessary people need to be turned away.

Positive enforcement of no parking on double yellow lines and obstructing the carriageway, maintaining the road open and clear to the local community and emergency services,  the police may be required to support this.

Officers with authority and powers on site to deal with antisocial behaviour such as lighting of barbecues and littering. It is completely unrealistic to expect one ranger or even two to manage this on their own.

* Litter collection - more bins and operatives on site during busy periods.

Install fencing and a barrier on the entrance to the car park. Wooden or metal bollards installed on the section overlooking the falls.

A spokesperson for Denbighshire County Council said: “We are continuing to work with our partners to manage the increase in visitors at Horseshoe Falls. 

"We are fully aware of the parking issues at the site and remind visitors that parking restrictions are important for both road safety and ensuring there is a fair turnover of parking spaces.

"Over the weekend civil enforcement officers issued parking tickets to motorists parked on double yellow lines.

"Those who plan to visit the site in the future and do not comply with parking restrictions risk receiving further Penalty Charge Notices.

"Visitors are reminded that those wishing to visit Horseshoe Falls on Saturday can also use the Dee Valley Picturesque Bus Service which is available to pick up from Llangollen Parade Street from 8.35am. The service will stop at the falls and more information can be found here -

"Additional Countryside Rangers are being employed to cover this area in order to give advice to visitors arriving at the site.

"We also urge visitors to park responsibly in designated areas and to respect the countryside and the local community, this includes keeping dogs on a lead and to bring picnics rather than disposable barbeques."

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