Posted: Fri 2nd Jun 2023

Angry Conwy shopkeepers slam council for flyover closure

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jun 2nd, 2023

Angry Conwy shopkeepers have slammed the council for their decision to close a flyover for sixteen days.

Conwy County Council announced this week that the bridge between Llandudno Junction and Conwy will close on Monday 16 June whilst contractors complete ongoing refurbishment work.

Traffic lights and a contra-flow lane system are currently in place, slowing cars through the area.

Now shopkeepers in Conwy say they are furious the council has failed to warn them earlier about the closure, which they claim will significantly damage trade.

Lorraine Gorst has owned Daisy Chain Floral Designs for the last 13 years.

“I’m really, really upset about it. Nobody from the highways department has sent us any letters,” she said.

“We are just hearing it second hand. It would be nice if they had called a meeting or sent a letter, but it is having a detrimental effect on our business.

“We are just getting over COVID. We are slowly getting back up to the top (of trade), and all of a sudden, this knocks you down, and they chose the summer.

“Why can’t they do it during the evening? But it has had a really detrimental effect on every business in this town.”

She added: “No compensation. Just tough luck. Local customers won’t come near. The tourists are only interested in ice cream and chips and coffee.

“Nobody is spending. We rely on our local customers, and we are just not getting them.”

Julie Mills runs Vinomondo on the High Street.

“I feel angry. We are already down on trade because the bridge has already been half closed for several weeks,” she said.

“Now they are going to close it completely. The council hasn’t consulted with us on any level. Maybe they don’t have to; maybe they don’t care. I don’t know.

“It is probably the latter: they don’t care, and nothing I can say will probably make the slightest bit of difference.”

Shop worker Neil Lequin lives in Deganwy but travels across the flyover bridge to work at a shop on Castle Street.

“It was a struggle last year when it was just one lane. It is a struggle at the moment,” he said.

“Our business has really picked up the last couple of weeks. This is a key time for the business. So business is picking up, and now it’s going to grind to a halt.

“I think we’ll pick up over the summer because people will come here anyway, but those last two weeks in June could be really barren.”

Julia Elliot is an artist whose work is sold at the Potters’ Gallery on the High Street.

Julia, though, understood the need for the work to be carried out.

“The more access to Conwy the better; however, if the bridge does need to be mended so that it works in future, it does make sense if it needs to be mended,” she said.

“If the council could work on it at night and keep it open during the day, that would be great, but I’m sure they know what they are doing, and I’d rather have a mended, safe bridge than a news report of hundreds of people falling into the water.”

The council says it is working with the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency to carry out the ‘essential maintenance’.

During the closure, traffic will be diverted via the A55 and Conwy tunnel, with vehicle access to Conwy via junction 17.

Non-motorway traffic restricted from using the A55 will travel via the A470 to cross at Tal y Cafn.

The council said there will be road access from the Weekly News roundabout to Deganwy, Llandudno Junction, and the Tesco roundabout.

The council is arranging for shuttle buses as usual buses won’t be able to operate through Conwy; however, school buses will, and parents will be informed of changes.

Pedestrian and cyclist access to the flyover will be maintained.

The bridge repair work is scheduled to finish on July 20, but the council says it now expects the maintenance to finish earlier.

Conwy County Council was contacted for a comment.

By Richard Evans – Local Democracy Reporter

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