An MP has written to a council to voice “strong opposition” against plans to reconfigure busy town centre roads and introduce a one-way system.

Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies wrote to Denbighshire council’s chief executive Judith Greenhalgh over a scheme to make Vale Street, Denbigh, into a one-way system and increase width of pedestrian areas.

Denbigh market would be relocated from Hall Square to the High Street and the council believes it will allow pubs, cafés and restaurants on Vale Street and High Street to create outside seating areas.

In his letter to Ms Greenhalgh, Dr Davies said he was “disappointed by the relatively short consultation period” granted to opponents of the scheme.

He also objected to narrowing of streets around the one-way system in Rhyl and a reduction in on-street parking, designed to increase pedestrian and cycle access.

Cllr Brian Jones, Denbighshire council’s lead member for transport and the environment said the authority would be “analysing the feedback” it received over the coming weeks, before a final decision is taken next month.

Similar schemes are also planned in Ruthin and Llangollen after Welsh Government awarded the council £981,000 for “Local Sustainable Transport” plans.

The council used emergency powers to bring in the changes, which it says will “safely reopen our town centres for visitors”, making social distancing, walking and cycling easier.

Despite planning the work since at least the end of May, residents didn’t find out until around a month later via the Local Democracy Reporting Service – and a consultation was only put online on July 9. That ended on Sunday, July 26.

Dr Davies added: “Firstly, I am disappointed by the relatively short period of consultation, only available online, for residents and businesses, for a proposal that would hugely alter traffic management throughout the town centre and a number of neighbouring residential streets.

“It appears little effort has been made to ensure those who may be most affected are aware of the proposals.

“I have received a number of emails from residents living on the affected streets who did not know about the proposals until they had received correspondence from me.”

The proposals in Denbigh prompted an angry public response and a petition against them topped 1,000 signatures, with people questioning why the ideas didn’t go before the council’s planning committee.

In another letter, about changes in Rhyl, Dr Davies criticised the “the reduction of on street parking”, saying it didn’t take into account people with mobility issues.

He added: “The anecdotal feedback I receive from business owners

is the cost and availability of nearby parking, coupled with the one-way systems in place throughout the town, already discourages shoppers from visiting Rhyl town centre.

“To further reduce parking would be damaging – a mistake I feel may cause an irreversible harm for some businesses.”

Denbighshire council’s chief executive Judith Greehalgh was asked to comment on the letters.

However Cllr Brian Jones said: “The council would like to thank members of the public and businesses for taking part in the consultation for active travel in Denbighshire.

“Across the four schemes being proposed we have had more than 1,600 responses during the consultation which has been running for two weeks.

“Over the coming weeks we will be analysing the feedback and then we will discuss the results with elected members before a final decision on each of the schemes is made at the end of August.”