Wales

Holywell High Street to reopen to vehicles for three months

Holywell High Street
Image caption Holywell High Street had been traffic-free for 25 years until the recent trial

Traders in a Flintshire town have welcomed plans to reopen the main shopping street to vehicles.

It comes after warnings from businesses in Holywell that they could fold if the street remained pedestrianised.

Holywell's High Street was pedestrianised in 1992, but a six-month trial last year where traffic was re-introduced and trade monitored was deemed a success.

Councillors decided this week that vehicles would return.

However, Holywell Town Council and Flintshire County Council need £800,000 to make the road fit for vehicular traffic, meaning the road will reopen on only a temporary basis.

Flintshire council has submitted proposals to the Welsh government for funding which would see the move become permanent.

'Increase takings'

Steve Jones, Flintshire's chief officer for Streetscene and Transportation, said: "The road will reopen for a further period of three months, as soon as the road markings and other safety features can be replaced on site."

Businesses said on Monday that the road closure had caused some shops to report more than a 40% fall in profits, compared to when the trial was running.

Russ Warburton, chair of the Holywell Town Business Group, said several shops could close within weeks, unless the road was de-pedestrianised.

He said councillors agreed at an emergency meeting held on Tuesday that the road would again open to vehicular traffic on a temporary basis.

He said: "It means the community can drive into the high street again, and easily go into their local shops. It will help with footfall and hopefully increase takings for local businesses."

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