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Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Councillor demands action over "dangerous and irresponsible" Llangollen diversions

* The barrier at the Castle Street/Mill Street junction was demolished during a day of heavy traffic congestion yesterday caused by the latest diversion.

Llangollen county councillor Karen Edwards says the town cannot sustain the level of "dangerous and irresponsible" disruption caused by traffic diversions from the A483 and A5.

And she has called for a re-think of the town's traffic system in the light of recent events. 

Over the past few days Llangollen has twice been used as a diversion route after storm warnings led to the closure of the viaducts over the nearby trunk routes, causing massive traffic congestion on both occasions.

In a statement issued to llanblogger this morning (Wednesday) Cllr Edwards says: "Many residents will have been caught up in the gridlock that occurred in Llangollen last night and last week when gale force winds caused the North Wales Trunk Road Agency to close the viaducts on the A5 / A 483. 

"The closure caused all north and southbound traffic to be diverted through Llangollen and along with the resultant chaos ,damage was caused to the railings on the recently narrowed town bridge.

"There was a failure to properly manage the traffic and without question confirmation that the redesign of Castle St with the narrowing of the road renders the chosen route diversion unsuitable for HGVs.

"Attempting to safely put trunk road traffic through a road which has been redesigned for traffic calming and increased pedestrian usage didn’t work last night or at any other time these diversions are implemented. In simple terms, there is now no resilience in the highway network and the recent investment to our street scene ( like it or loathe it ) has been damaged again."

She adds: "As a resident before I was elected I challenged the design/layout prior to its implementation with the DCC officers and the DCC Head of Service responsible for the implementation and I will call for another design review of this junction and layout by DCC in light of the recent events. 

"Three years have now elapsed since the collapse and closure of the Newbridge Road. Had it been repaired this would have been the option for traffic diversion when the viaducts are closed whether due to inclement weather or any other reason.

"I would like to assure residents that I will be doing my utmost to ensure that lessons are learned at county and government level by those responsible for the glacial speed of the repair on the Newbridge Road and are fully aware that Llangollen cannot sustain this level of disruption - it's unsustainable, dangerous, and irresponsible."

* Clwyd South MS Ken Skates said: “I raised this matter with the council yet again last week. With the recent storms causing road closures, it has reiterated the urgent need for the road to be reopened and residents are getting more and more frustrated at the lack of information.

“It’s now almost two years since the Welsh Government confirmed funding of £2.8m to fix this – in addition to the grants it had already given to the council for investigations and exploratory work. People are asking me why nothing appears to be happening and where the money has gone.

“I’m sure the council is working hard on this behind the scenes, but my constituents need answers."

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