DENBIGHSHIRE County Council’s (DCC) plans to introduce a one-way system in Denbigh has raised several concerns from officials and locals alike.

As part of plans to turn the county’s main streets into one-way systems, encouraging social distancing among pedestrians, Denbigh market would be relocated from Hall Square to the High Street.

The council used emergency powers to bring in the changes, which it says will “safely reopen our town centres for visitors”, making social distancing, walking and cycling easier.

Despite planning the work since at least the end of May, residents didn’t find out until around a month later via the Local Democracy Reporting Service – and a consultation was only put online on July 9 before ending on Sunday.

Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies wrote to Denbighshire council’s chief executive Judith Greenhalgh regarding his concerns over the scheme, saying: “Firstly, I am disappointed by the relatively short period of consultation, only available online, for residents and businesses, for a proposal that would hugely alter traffic management throughout the town centre and a number of neighbouring residential streets.

“I have received a number of emails from residents living on the affected streets who did not know about the proposals until they had received correspondence from me.”

The proposal prompted an angry public response and a petition against it topped 1,000 signatures.

The petition against the plans was set up by Craig Rogerson who claims that, if given the go ahead, they would “force return traffic down Grove Road”, which he says is a ‘narrow road with limited access for the size of vehicles proposed’, including buses and lorries.

Mr Rogerson added that such changes ‘will be detrimental to business and Denbigh residents alike’.

A Facebook page opposing the proposals has also managed to sign up more than 300 people.

Similar one-way system schemes are also being planned for the likes of Rhyl, Ruthin and Llangollen after the Welsh Government awarded the council £981,000 for “Local Sustainable Transport” plans.

Vale of Clwyd MS Ann Jones has backed residents who are against the Denbigh proposals.

She has submitted her objections, stating that these proposals are ‘rushed, ill thought out and have more disbenefits’ for the community.

Ann Jones MS added: "The reasons for these proposals are a result of Welsh Government providing funding that could help town centres and the public to have confidence in the new normal involving social distancing. As far as I can see Denbighshire County Council’s proposals will not help to achieve this aim.

"I am disappointed that the authority clearly has not thought through these changes and simply looked to make Vale Street one way by diverting traffic onto to Barkers Well Lane, although Beacons Hill is highlighted in their plans, which will cause greater congestion. There is also a plan to move the market onto the High Street and again the authority cite Hall Square, rather than Crown Square.

"The allocation of funding from Welsh Government also indicated that there must be an Equality Assessment carried out and this has not been done.”

In response to concerns raised regarding the proposal, Cllr Brian Jones, Denbighshire County Council’s lead member for waste, transport and the environment, said: “The Council would like to thank members of the public and businesses for taking part in the consultation for active travel in Denbighshire.

“Across the four schemes being proposed we have had more than 1,600 responses during the consultation which has been running for two weeks.

“Over the coming weeks we will be analysing the feedback and then we will discuss the results with elected members before a final decision on each of the schemes is made at the end of August.”