Monmouth one-way system is temporary

Statement on the one-way system in Monmouth following a number of concerns raised by local residents:

I have had a large number of people contact me with concerns about the one-way system. They centred around delays when travelling in both directions and the somewhat unsightly barriers.

I met with Monmouthshire County Council leader Peter Fox and chief executive Paul Matthews earlier this week to discuss these concerns and can report back with good news.

The system is a temporary measure which was put in place in order to give the shops a chance to reopen and stay within Welsh Government guidance on social distancing. This is purely a Covid-related measure and once the pandemic is fully under control the town centre will revert back to the previous configuration.

Council leaders are also aware that the current barriers are not pretty and are planning to take action to improve the appearance of them within the next 10 days. Again, the local authority felt a need to act quickly to enable shops to reopen and get some sense of normality back to the town. The traffic lights timing will also be changed to ensure the smoother flow of traffic.

There has been a debate going on for years about the pros and cons of having a one-way system through the town. Once the Covid situation is over, these measures could be reintroduced but that will only happen if the town wants them and can see an advantage to them. As things stand, the one-way system is set to end.

I would therefore suggest we all think carefully about what we want. I would especially encourage those who have businesses in the town to see how things work out over the coming weeks and be ready to express a view to the council on this system.

The council is aware of the concerns and officials are very much in listening mode. They have assured me there is no intention to make this a permanent system against the wishes of the town.