Wales

Holywell High Street reopening to traffic 'a success'

Holywell town centre
Image caption Public cars have been allowed on Holywell High Street as part of a six-month trial

The high street of a town in Flintshire will be permanently opened to traffic if the necessary funding can be found.

In May, drivers were given access to Holywell's main shopping area for the first time in more than 25 years as part of a trial to boost trade.

Flintshire council said the measure had proved to be a success.

Holywell Town Council is seeking £800,000 of Welsh Government funding to bring the high street up to scratch for permanent traffic use.

Since 1992 only delivery vehicles had been allowed access to the area.

The trial followed a petition with more than 500 signatures supporting the idea.

There were mixed views when the changes took effect, with some business owners expressing safety concerns, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Image caption The road needs improvement work before traffic can return permanently

However, Flintshire council leader Aaron Shotton said he understood most people in the town now backed the move, despite it being a "very contentious" issue.

"I commend their bravery for reopening this particular issue and changing people's views," he said of the town council.

"I think traders, business owners and residents have all recognised the benefits of the temporary order.

"Of course, the challenge is to move forward to receive grant funding in order to make that a permanent fixture."

The trial is due to finish in January.

Carolyn Thomas, Flintshire cabinet member responsible for roads, said traffic could not continue using the high street because "the highway isn't of a standard to do so".

"Working with the town council we are trying to find some funding to make this happen permanently though," she added.

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