UNPOPULAR bollards installed in Rhyl as part of temporary active travel schemes will be removed.

The bollards were installed to help create more space for pedestrians during the pandemic, as part of the Welsh Government’s Active Travel and Covid-19 scheme.

Businesses felt the bollards gave the impression the town was ‘closed’. There was also concerns about how they impacted on parking and deliveries.

Last year, Dr James Davies, MP for Vale of Clwyd, met businesses owners to discuss the problems the bollards were causing and called on Denbighshire County Council to revise the measures.

Welcoming the news they are to be removed, Dr Davies said: “Businesses have been up in arms over these bollards since they were first installed as they block access to loading and disabled parking bays, and make their premises look closed.

“The last 12 months have been extremely tough for these businesses and we need to ensure that when they are able to reopen, customers and deliveries can access them easily.

“As I said in my response to the consultation last Summer, these bollards bring no practical benefits to Rhyl and have been a poor way of spending public money. I am therefore extremely pleased that the decision has now been taken to have them removed and with many shops re-opening in days, I call on the county council to ensure this work takes place as soon as possible.”

Andrew Gough, of Home Elegance on Queen Street, said: “This is fantastic news. When we were able to open, we were losing out massively because of these bollards as there was nowhere for customers to park.

“It was also a hazard for disabled people. It has been a tough year, so to be faced with these additional issues was just a nightmare. I am so pleased they are being removed.”

Craig Harker, of Harker’s Leisure, said: “Hopefully, they will be removed in time for us reopening.”

Earlier this year, Rhyl BID ran a survey on how the bollards were affecting traders and shoppers.

A spokesperson from Rhyl BID said: "We are delighted that following extensive feedback from local businesses and residents, Rhyl County Councillors voted to request the reversal of the decision to install the lane defenders in Rhyl.

"We are pleased with this decision and thankful also to the Denbighshire County Council officers who opened a channel of communication, and encouraged feedback.

"Rhyl BID is grateful to all the Rhyl businesses and residents who provided feedback and completed our surveys, and so pleased that your voices have been heard."

A spokesperson for Denbighshire County Councils said: "A decision has been made to remove the temporary Local Sustainable Transport Response to Covid-19 scheme in Rhyl town centre.

"This decision has been made by Cllr Brian Jones, Denbighshire County Council’s lead member for Waste, Transport and the Environment, following a recommendation made by Rhyl Member Area Group.

"Rhyl Member Area Group made the recommendation based on feedback from the public gathered by the council.

"The work will see the removal of all elements of the active travel routes, that were introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, on Bodfor Street, Queen Street and West Parade which includes the widened pedestrian areas.

"The council would like to thank those who provided feedback on the temporary scheme.

"The date for the removal of the scheme will be communicated in the near future.

"Denbighshire County Council has an ongoing legal obligation under the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 to research, develop, consult on and promote active travel routes in and around town centres – including Rhyl.

"The decision to end the temporary Covid-19 active travel scheme early will have no impact on this work and the council will continue to work with residents, businesses and local members."