Aston Hill footpath consultation launched but no plans for pedestrian guard rail on exposed section of A494
Plans to upgrade and widen a footpath that runs alongside the busy A494 at Aston Hill appear to have fallen short when it comes to pedestrian safety.
The proposals, published last week by Flintshire council, don’t include the installation of a pedestrian guard rail on an exposed section of the road despite it being the only ‘safe’ walking route for Hawarden High School pupils who live in Higher Shotton and Aston.
The local authority has been awarded Welsh Government funding for the work, it wants to implement a package of measures “aimed at enhancing and improving the environment for pedestrians and cyclists” and has launched a consultation on the plans.
The council said: the new proposal “supports the policy and ambitions contained within Welsh Governments ‘Active Travel’ Wales Act as well as conforming to the vision of Welsh Governments ‘New Wales Transport Strategy’ which aims to encourage more walking, cycling and sustainable modes of travel.”
The proposals include widening the existing footway alongside the eastbound carriageway of the A494 to provide up to 3metre width of shared pedestrian cycle facility.
But while the path may conform to a Welsh government “vision,” when it comes to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, a 350metre section of the exposed path wont be fenced off from the traffic.
Lamp posts and telephone poles will be relocated, new signage and markings will indicate the “pedestrian and cycle facility.”
The proposals do include the relocation of Old Aston Hill crossing point into a safer location, pedestrians and cyclists heading to Hawarden and St Davids Park will still have to negotiate the busy on and off slip roads at Ewloe.
The Welsh government also funded upgrade work in January last year, which saw some of the grass verges cut away, lighting improved and the path widened on a section set back from the road.
Ahead of the consultation launch, Aston Councillor Helen Brown met with Flintshire council officials and raised concerns about the lack of safety barriers.
Cllr Brown also raised concerns around the lack of safety measures for pedestrians who have to cross the dual carriageway on and off slip roads at Ewloe.
She said: “The path is very well used and widening it definitely does have an advantage but safety barriers must be installed for the obvious reasons.”
“Ideally they should install guard barriers along with noise reduction fencing to ease the constant noise that the adjacent properties have constantly.”
Cllr Brown said council officials have confirmed there are no plans for a guard rail, “I really do hope they take on board the suggested amendments to the plans.”
The proposals have been published on the council website, a consultation runs until midnight on 9 August 2021,
Flintshire’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene, Councillor Glyn Banks, said:
“I’m pleased that the Welsh Government has awarded us the funding to carry out this much needed work.”
“It will improve and upgrade the existing pedestrian footway between Ewloe Roundabout and Aston Road, turning it into a shared facility for both pedestrians and cyclists.”
“It will also make the area safer by relocating the Old Aston Hill side road crossing point and by removing the localised pinch point at Aston Road.”
“We need your views to help us to provide a ‘tailor made’ scheme that meets the needs of the local community.”
“We want to enhance the footway provision at this location and make our network safer and improve connectivity within the local area.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com