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‘This road is currently not safe’: Community councillors told The Highway is too narrow for traffic calming measures

The Highway in Croesyceiliog
The Highway in Croesyceiliog

Councillors from Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon Community Council have had their request for traffic calming measures on The Highway turned down by Torfaen Council as the road isn’t wide enough.

At the community council’s business planning meeting held last week councillors were given an update following a site meeting with officers.

At the community council’s 8 June meeting the minutes recorded: “It was agreed a reply is sent to Torfaen County Borough Council highlighting member’s continuing concerns and requesting an urgent site meeting to discuss further. Members were particularly worried about excessive speeding placing pedestrians in real danger including very young children.”

The Highway in Croesyceiliog

A site meeting was held at The Highway on 22 June with council officers. The clerk was then asked to: “contact Torfaen County Borough Council for an update on the proposal for installing uncontrolled traffic islands and progress with its previous proposals to address speeding and pedestrian crossing.”

Further meeting minutes showed the community council chasing “response for costs for island in middle of the road, update on improvements planned around the café and information on S106 monies.”

S106 money is cash contributions and commitments made by developers to mitigate the loss of other facilities and changes to communities from new developments in an area.

Response to the community council

This response from Torfaen Council was given to councillors at their meeting last week.

“Following the request of the community council regarding the installation of a new traffic central refuge (island), we have now taken measurements on road width in several places on The Highway. Outside Owens café and several points above toward the CEC the road is 7.3 Metres wide, which is typical local authority road width. Further up by the cricket ground the road width is considerably less than that.

“The traffic island that was “re-made” at the bottom of Woodland Road as part of the SRiC scheme in 2020 is approx. 1.45 metres wide with running lanes of approx 3.0 – 3.1 metres each, making a total road width of approx. 7.6 metres. When constructing a new traffic island we would seek this width traffic island as a minimum and wider if possible.

“If there was a suitable area on The Highway to widen the road to achieve these design parameters without narrowing the pavement, ( I repeat if ), then the cost of the road widening, new kerbing and new traffic island is likely to be at least £30,000, perhaps considerably more dependent on local road conditions eg. Proximity to junctions, proximity to drains , access covers to services in the ground etc.”

Councillors discussion

Following the update, councillors discussed their next steps.

Councillor Mark Price, Croesyceiliog South Ward, said: “They’ve given us a price to try and frighten us off. This issue is far from over. The overall issue is this road is currently not safe.”

Councillor Colin Crick, Croesyceiliog South Ward, said they were raising concerns from residents: “Personally think we should take this to the (county) councillors, everything we took to the officers. Our concerns were sent up to the officer. First response was ‘we’ve looked at it and there are no dangers’.”

He said the county council didn’t currently have the staff to design a traffic calming scheme.

Councillor Sean O’Dobhain, Croesyceiliog North Ward, said: “I’m sure there is ‘payback money’ from the county hall site. How much is available?” Cllr Price said:  “I don’t think we have got anything out of the school.”

Cllr Price and O’Dobhain were referring to S106 money from developments in the area.

Cllr Price said: “The point is, it is a danger. There is a lot of cars nipping up and down.”

Cllr O’Dobhain said because of the local schools and number of businesses around The Highway there were always pedestrians crossing the road.

Cllr Crick said: “I’ve got friends who are cyclists. They won’t cycle up The Highway.”

The clerk will request a meeting with county borough councillors.

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‘This road is currently not safe’: Community councillors told The Highway is too narrow for traffic calming measures