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Friday, February 3, 2023

Safety concerns expressed about new-look Hill Street/A5 junction


The resident's picture of the way the junction is currently.

* Their interpretation of the many ways pedestrians and drivers will have to assess the re-modelled junction before negotiating it.

A Llangollen resident has voiced concerns that the work currently being carried out to re-shape the junction of Hill Street and the A5 could be “very dangerous” for pedestrians.

Contractors for the county council and working on behalf of the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent moved in on January 9 to begin a six-week programme at the busy junction.

This will include the creation of three new signalised crossings.

Two of these will be on the A5, one from the front of number 4 Berwyn Street to the side of the Armoury, and the second from the front of M’Eating Point to the front of the Welsh Methodist Chapel.

The third crossing will be on Castle Street, near the A5 junction, running from the side of the chapel to the front of the shop opposite.

The priority of the junction of Hall Street and Hill Street will be amended, with the existing island there being removed. A new uncontrolled crossing will run between the Armoury and the Grapes.

There will be a new stop-line position marked on the A5 in front of the junction.

The concerned resident, after a long study of the issue but does not wish to be named, says they have expressed their fears about the work to the county council and the Welsh Government.   

They explained: “I've been trying to raise concerns for over a year. I have just been passed around. I was told the plans would be revised. They haven't been. 

“I have now been forwarded to the Welsh Government but they won't be back for comment for 15 days. It's too late then. Plans need to be changed now.  

“Pedestrians crossing from bottom of Hill Street will have to look for traffic coming from five directions at any one time from a 315-degree radius, on a very busy junction.  

“As it is at the moment it can be dangerous to cross to the island, having to assess for traffic from three directions, the other two being on other side of island as the current layout is now. 

“People are limited to concentrate on only a few things at any one time. Putting this fact in a scenario for pedestrians to cross the road is very dangerous.  

“It is dangerous because not only will the pedestrians have to assess dangers from five possible directions but also and a driver will have to assess vehicles and pedestrians from five possible directions. Drivers will fail to see pedestrians crossing if they are concentrating on traffic from four directions.  

“To add, the crossing will be longer than what it currently is now.”

The resident added: "The 'keep clear' area will get blocked as there is only space for one car in front of the traffic lights (which already partially blokes the exit from Hill St). 

"With a flow of traffic, I doubt very much that vehicles will wait for the space in front of lights to clear before they proceed to it. It is inevitable that when the lights turn red that at least one car will be in the 'keep clear' area, blocking off exit and entrance. 

"In the new plans there will be no space for vehicles caught in the 'keep clear' area to move to, in turn completely blocking the junction every time the lights are red. I think there should be a box junction instead of 'keep clear'. 

"I also think it is vital that a pedestrian refuge island is placed halfway across the crossing at bottom of Hill St crossing." 

* Llanblogger has asked the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent to comment. A spokesperson said: "The correspondent will receive a reply to his letter/e-mail very soon. We won’t be providing a separate response."

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