Although this in an emotive subject with many people for and against this idea, the local business group, Holywell Town Council and the County Council have given the go-ahead for a trial period of opening the street to traffic to allow the local businesses a chance to bring more trade into the street after some major disruptions such as the bank closures and the increase in car parking charges.
The town has been updated with parking bays and double yellow lines to encourage visitors to use the street correctly after a short period of “mayhem” when the barriers were broken and people took advantage of the situation and were parking everywhere.
Flintshire County Council put the “trial” period scheme to an outside auditor for final health and safety risk assessments and the go-ahead was given.
With only a few minor teething problems, the street now is being supported by the majority of the local people, who have welcomed, the change, so Holywell can become a thriving, vibrant town once more.
Free half and hour parking, No entry from the top of town, 20 mile per hour speed limits, police and traffic monitoring is now in place. The cones are a temporary measure so the public can get used to the areas known as “pavements”. They will be reduced over the first few weeks.
The trial will last until January 2019, when the businesses and local people will decide if the traffic in the street has been a success. The local business group, the town council and FCC will meet every month to see how the trial is unfolding.
If it is a success, Flintshire County Council will implement a new scheme of works to include pavements, more parking bays, new street lighting, 3 crossings and more.
If it is not a success, Flintshire County Council will enforce a full pedestrianisation order on the street and this will stop all traffic from coming into the street again.
The businesses would prefer the 1st option, as they feel that the lack of traffic and footfall in the street since pedestrianisation has had a detrimental effect on trade and many shops are struggling to keep open.
Over 80+ businesses are in the high street and surrounding streets and the future of Holywell depends on the street being permanently open to traffic again, so here’s hoping to a successful trial!