Residents of a seaside street in North Wales face a 778 per cent increase in traffic if plans for a seafront renovation project are given the green light, according to one campaigner.
Conwy Council wants to introduce a one-way system for traffic from Rhos-on-Sea to Colwyn Bay along West Promenade, and replace well-established kiosks as part of a scheme at Rhos-on- Sea and Colwyn Bay.
But locals fear that trucks and buses will rev their engines noisily as they change gears to climb to the top of Cayley Embankment. The number of such vehicles would increase by 778%, according to the council’s own consultants.
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Conwy Council said by moving a single lane of traffic from West Promenade to the parallel road there would be a ‘safer, friendlier and more accessible development’.
The traffic fears come as Clwyd West MP David Jones called for a public meeting on road upgrades and the removal of kiosks, but said the council officers he had invited did not had not answered.
Proposals for a new traffic system, removal of kiosks, new seating and other measures – between Abbey Road in Rhos-on-Sea and Colwyn Bay station – still have to be submitted to Conwy’s planning committee. The next meeting will be on February 9, but they could be released at the March meeting.
Resident Peter Sutton, whose home is adjacent to Cayley Embankment, told North Wales Live that more drivers using Cayley Embankment “would devastate the area and life would never be the same”.
He said the disclosure was “buried on page 548 of a 626-page environmental statement”, prepared for the council by Cardiff-based Mott Macdonald.
It adds: ‘The document makes it clear that ‘the reconfiguration of West Promenade to be one-way southbound only with improved parking and crossing facilities, and a 20mph speed limit , expected to lead to the majority of traffic currently using West Promenade diversion onto Cayley Promenade’.
Statistics presented in a table show a current total vehicle flow of 1,164 plus 38 heavy goods vehicles (trucks) on Cayley Drive, increasing to 10,184 and 333 respectively, an increase of 778%.
There would be a corresponding decrease in traffic on West Promenade of approximately 8,700 vehicles or 95%, but this would “result in a major negative magnitude effect on Cayley Promenade”, the report said.
Mr Sutton said: ‘The adverse effects of the proposed traffic change will have a direct impact on residents living on the Cayley Prom itself and also on homes on adjacent or adjacent roads such as Whitehall Road, Holbeck Road , Ebberston Road East, Bryn-y-Mor Road, Llanerch Road East and Chatsworth Close.”
He fears HGVs and buses will rev their engines up Cayley Embankment and spoil things for walkers and picnickers trying to steer clear of exhaust fumes and noise.
Mr Sutton said: ‘Council’s concern is that the plan must be ready for execution by March 2022 to qualify for Welsh Government funding, so Conwy County Borough councilors feel can – be obliged to approve the program as it is.
“It is therefore essential that the necessary fundamental changes are made to the design now before it is too late.”
Regarding additional traffic, Conwy County Council referred North Wales Live to comment from a consultation.
He said that by reducing traffic on West Promenade to one lane he would be able to create a ‘safer, friendlier and more accessible promenade’.
There would be a four meter wide ‘share with care’ active traffic lane for pedestrians and cyclists, an ‘activity zone’ including seating, planted areas, artwork, picnic areas picnic areas and small themed play areas for children of all levels.
There would also be a pedestrian-only footbridge along the seafront railings of the promenade, “for those who want to move along the promenade at a more leisurely pace, away from any cyclists” .
On Rhos-on-Sea seafront kiosks, the council announced that they would be replaced.
North Wales Live asked Conwy Council about David Jones’ invitation to all stakeholders, including council officers, to come to a public meeting on a date to be fixed.
Conwy council said it had responded formally to Mr Jones.
He added: “Residents have already taken the opportunity to give their input on the plans via public consultation in 2021 before we submit a development application.
“We are now in the formal planning process which includes further consultation – residents have another opportunity to provide feedback on the project through this process.”
He added: “The project team is committed to working with affected residents or other stakeholders, to make reasonable design changes that improve the project, without detracting from the broader benefits of the project. ”
* A deadline has passed on January 31 for independent businesses to apply to run new separate kiosks on Colwyn Bay Pier. Conwy Council is looking for operators to offer food, drink, retail, arts and crafts, activities or pop-up events.
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