Posted: Sat 9th Dec 2023

Flintshire Council reviews coastal path barriers between Queensferry and border with Chester

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Dec 9th, 2023

Flintshire Council will look into feedback on proposed changes to barriers in a section of the Wales Coastal Path (WCP) between Queensferry and Chester.

The authority’s environment and economy overview and scrutiny committee is to consider proposed improvements and feedback on the plans, including for the Saltney footbridge.

A report states that the access control barriers are in place to protect users of the WCP against the risks posed by illegal vehicle access to the path.
The barriers can cause access issues for users of some mobility scooters and unconventional cycles.

The issue is that improving access for all legitimate users of the path would mean widening existing openings or removing barriers altogether, which would then reduce the effectiveness of the access control measure in preventing illegal access.

This means it will not be possible for access for all legitimate users “to be improved entirely whilst still retaining the same level of access control to prevent use for vehicles”.

The report explained: “The recommendations from the consultant study were discussed at Flintshire Local Access Forum, Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet in July 2023.

“The resolution of Cabinet was to gain further feedback from users and stakeholders when implementation designs were proposed.

“A plan and specification were drawn up for access points to the Wales Coast Path around the Saltney footbridge area and sent out for feedback during October. A summary of responses is detailed.”

The report also detailed that North Wales Police have raised concerns about the removal of barriers but understand the need for adjustments and requested that the barriers are adjusted rather than removed.

Following recommendations of a consultant’s study, and endorsement at Cabinet, plans were drawn up for improvements to include a Radar lockable gate at Saltney Footbridge, and feedback was invited on this scheme from the community, disabled users and stakeholders.

The report added: “The scheme does allow for improved access for those with a Radar key who currently cannot access the A-frame barriers and it retains control of illegal ingress of motorbikes. However, feedback indicates this option will still present access problems in terms of key operation and manoeuvrability.

Other issues highlighted include the ease in which nondisabled people can obtain a Radar key and if the gate was left open or the lock was vandalised.

“The proposed scheme, once installed, will be reviewed after six months to understand its effectiveness for control of illegal access and problems encountered by legitimate users.”

The committee meets on Tuesday, December 12 to discuss the proposed improvements.

By Emily Ash – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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