Frustration after Denbigh cycle path rejection


Rebecca Cole

PLANS for a new travel path have been rejected sparking frustration among campaigners.

The traffic and transport department of Denbighshire County Council had hoped to create a new “multi-user active travel route” to link St David’s Lane and Brookhouse Road in Denbigh but the authority’s planning committee resolved to refuse the proposal due to concerns about highway safety and the impact on homes due to “increased activity”.

The proposal prompted concern from some members of the public and councillors including Denbigh Town Council which claimed some parts of the route had poor visibility for cyclists, heavy road traffic and passing cyclists would disturb visitors to the cemetery.

Speaking at the planning meeting Kevin Ringer said residents feared an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour along the route which would pass along Brookhouse Road, Ystrad Road, St David’s Church and Denbigh town cemetery.

“As residents we have been regularly disturbed by anti-social behaviour which also occurs at Ystrad,” he said.

“Various complaints have been made to the council and the police with anti-social behaviour occurring at both ends of the route.

“There is no doubt it would become a rat run, disturbing residents.”

He said residents had a right to “the peaceful enjoyment of our homes” and also objected to the visual impact of the route which would pass within two feet of the cemetery’s nearest grave.

“This is a place where people go for peace and quiet,” he added.

“Please give the cemetery visitors some respect.”

However, Guto Lloyd-Davies, a keen cyclist who enjoys trips out with his wife Elin and two young daughters, seven-year-old Magi and five-year-old Gwen, said the route would have been a brilliant addition to the town.

He also claimed, as a Denbigh resident with relatives buried at the cemetery, he did not believe the path would have a detrimental effect.

“I don’t understand the concerns about safety,” he said, “but highways are happy with it.

“We haven’t got any cycle paths in Denbigh and this would be much safer than using the roads, especially for children.

“At the moment we have to travel to Bangor or Chester.”

His comments were backed by Glyn Evans, area manager for North and Mid Wales Sustrans which campaigns for safer routes for cyclists and walkers with the aim of encouraging people to be more active.

“This proposed new walking and cycling route would provide a safe space for people of all ages and abilities to leave the car at home and travel actively for shorter, everyday journeys in the community.

“Huge numbers of people in Denbighshire responded to the original consultation expressing support for the route, highlighting that people really value safe spaces for walking and cycling for themselves and their family.

“Unfortunately, it seems a small minority has won the day - a victory for anecdote over evidence.”

See full story in the Free Press

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