Mid Wales

Welshpool's new one-way system 'driving down' profits

Some shopkeepers in a Powys town claim their takings have fallen since the introduction of new one-way system a year ago.

Businesses in Welshpool say the road is causing traffic jams and many shoppers now avoid the town centre completely, which is hitting profits.

The one-way system was built by Powys council at the same time as a nearby Tesco store.

The council said it was reviewing the operation of the one-way system.

Welshpool funeral director Geraint Peate said it could take an hour to get through the town, with traffic queuing for up to a mile outside.

Rhian Davies of Welshpool Pets said her takings were down by as much as 60%.

She said: "It's not been a positive thing at all. We've all felt it pretty much instantly. People are just not coming into the town anymore.

"We lost a huge, huge amount of sales, almost a 60% drop in sales straight away."

The change to the road system is seen by many as another blow to business in Welshpool town centre, following the move of the cattle market to a site on the town's outskirts in 2009, and the opening of the Tesco supermarket last year.

Some residents have called for improved road signs to help visitors use the one-way system.

Keith Weaver, a local resident who uses the one-way system, called it terrible.

"Nobody knows where they're going, nobody knows where to give way, specifically round by Tesco where people don't give way to the right, which they should do," he said.

Signs and road markings

"When you come up through the town centre, if people are reversing to park they just block all the traffic and people see someone parking and just pull in front of you."

Powys council said it was looking at how the system was working and some changes to it could be made before Easter.

A spokesman said: "A council scrutiny committee is currently reviewing the operation of Welshpool's one-way system.

"The review is not expected to be completed until the summer.

"A fourth stage road safety audit will take place on the system in Welshpool in the near future.

"The audit is standard practice for a road scheme that has been operating for 12 months and will be carried out by an independent team who look at the scheme's signs, road markings, pedestrian and traffic flow."

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