PRESSURE is mounting for Ceredigion County Council to reconsider its ‘safe zone’ scheme for Cardigan town centre.

Cardigan High Street along to Pendre has been made a pedestrian zone between 11am-6pm and town businesses says the results have been disastrous for trade as both visitors and locals avoid the area.

And now town mayor Cllr Clive Davies has sent an email to the county council raising concerns about the impact it is having and fearing the town has been effectively placed in "lockdown”.

In the email he said: “As the Mayor of Cardigan, the idea of safe zones for the towns is in principle a good idea.

“However in the context of Cardigan in practice it has not in my mind worked so far, both on communication with shops, principle users of the town and the prospective tourists.

“The implementation I was told would ensure the town would not look like a building site. Well I’m sorry to say it does - not inviting but obstructive.

“I understand the principle to make it a safer place to enjoy, to browse, to get the essentials done within the Covid pandemic but I think the balance isn’t right at the moment in the interest of public safety and economic activity.

“What has been done is a bold move but I think it needs to be adjusted and some easing made sooner than the planned review date in what essentially at the moment is a ‘Cardigan Town Lockdown’.

“I would like you to consider once more 17 or so changes suggested when your plan was revealed.”

Many traders are angry that they were not consulted about the scheme and had no input.

Butcher Tom Samways said: “It is so frustrating to see an empty town. People should be stopping off in town as they pass through and nipping into the shops but all that has gone.

“The council did not ask the traders for our input and it’s just not working. I have spent the last two and a half years putting everything into the shop and feel like all that hard work could be thrown away in the next six weeks unless someone acts now.

“There is a real fear some doors will close for good if this carries on. You cannot tell everyone that you can go out and everywhere is open and then shut the town down.”

A spokesperson for the county council, which has also introduced 'safe zones' at New Quay, Aberaeron and Aberystwyth, said: “Ceredigion County Council is looking to work with traders and businesses to identify potential solutions to matters that are raised, and a number of measures to allow deliveries within each of the safe zones have already been established.

“The council will continue to respond and introduce further measures where these can be reasonably accommodated without reducing the effectiveness of the safe zones in protecting our residents and visitors against the risks posed by the coronavirus.”

Council officials saying they plan on introducing similar measures in Aberporth, Borth, Lampeter and Tregaron in the coming weeks and are looking at the feasibility of introducing a scheme in Llandysul.