A Carmarthenshire County Council plan that discriminated against those with mobility issues by pedestrianising the road has been scrapped!
King Street will no longer be pedestrianised from 10AM – 4PM daily. Hooray! Our clients can now be dropped off and picked up at the door anytime of day.
Full article below:
A controversial plan which saw one of the main streets in a Welsh town centre being pedestrianised is to be scrapped, meaning that vehicles will once again be able to travel along it at all times of the day.
The topic of pedestrianising King King in Carmarthen has been hotly debated for many years, and it’s an issue which has long divided opinion and even caused anger amongst some.
The idea was brought back into public focus five years ago when a consultation was held for traders and the general public to offer feedback on something that, some argued, would have breathed new life into that particular area of town. Others, meanwhile, said it would kill trade on the street due to a lack of access that would be afforded to business owners and shoppers.
Those plans ultimately failed to materialise, but in the summer of 2020, as Carmarthen and the rest of the country were thrust into a Covid-19 age which brought with it the need for social distancing and other retail restrictions, King Street was finally closed off to vehicles for the majority of the working day.
Since early August last year, no vehicles, including those delivering to businesses, have been allowed to travel down King Street between the hours of 10am and 4pm, every day of the week, including on weekends. Carmarthenshire Council, who implemented the decision, maintained that the move was done to “provide space for safe social distancing” and to “open up opportunities for businesses to serve their customers outdoors”.
Many traders feared it was a way for the council to introduce pedestrianisation through the back door on a permanent basis. The council, however, insisted it was a temporary move made possible by an 18-month order, which was due to come to an end in January 2022.
Now, the temporary nature of the arrangement has been confirmed after councillors discussed the issue at a cabinet meeting on Monday. From next Monday (September 20) King Street, along with Cowell Street in Llanelli, which itself was the subject of changes brought in last summer, will reopen to traffic.The decision to lift the pedestrianisation has been made after “taking into consideration recent changes in Welsh Government guidance” along with feedback from the public, the council said, who also confirmed that Carmarthen’s Nott Square will again be enforced by parking officers in accordance with a permanent order that was temporarily suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Some changes brought in over the past 12 months or so will remain in place, however. The ‘access only’ traffic order in place in Carmarthen’s Water Street will become permanent, along with 20mph speed limits at different locations which were introduced to support town centre safety and air quality.
A number of changes to on-street parking that were trialled under an experimental order will also be confirmed as permanent, except for temporary changes outside 20-33 Blue Street and 18 Lammas Street in Carmarthen, which will be removed. Cowell Street and John Street parking arrangements in Llanelli will also return to those arrangements in place prior to Covid.
Emlyn Dole, leader of Carmarthenshire Council, said the decisions ratified this week form part of a plan to help the county’s towns recover from the devastating effects of Covid-19.
“Getting our town centres back up and running is a key priority of our economic recovery plan and we’re pleased to be in a position where we can revert some of our temporary measures,” said Mr Dole.
“That said, we are pleased to take the opportunity of retaining some of the measures that have improved safety and air quality. This not only makes sense, but aligns with our objectives to promote walking and cycling as sustainable travel options.”