RESIDENTS in Cardigan affected by the safe zone traffic diversions are stepping up a campaign to halt the constant flow of vehicles past their front doors.

The ‘We say no to Cardigan traffic diversion’ group has been set up by residents in the Quay Street and the Lower Mwldan area.

They have been plagued by traffic problems since Ceredigion County Council introduced the pedestrianisation scheme in the town centre at the start of July to enforce social distancing rules.

All town centre traffic – including buses and lorries – has been funnelled down the narrow streets and past people’s front doors between 11am and 6pm.

Residents’ representative Bridget Hiser said: “The county council has merely shifted the problem from the High Street to several far narrower historic streets, totally unsuitable for use as a busy highway, where social distancing is almost impossible because of the increased traffic.

“The route is ill thought-out and dangerous - especially for the disabled - and simply crossing the road is a nightmare.

“Residents on the route have been subjected to two months of relentless traffic, noise and pollution, seven hours a day, seven days a week. We want to know when this is going to end.”

Residents have now met with town mayor Cllr Clive Davies to voice their growing frustration.

“Over the last eight weeks of the safe zone, there have been two surveys done by Ceredigion County Council and the Town Traders Association which have focused on the whole on the users of the town centre and the shops,” said Cllr Davies.

“Having met with members of a community opposition group Bridget Hiser and Jane Borley, it has become evident that town residents have not been given due consideration in any consultations with the traffic diversion.

“Quay Street, Lower Mwldan and Greenfield Square have become the main through route for town traffic in the height of summer in Cardigan and residents along the entire route have been adversely affected by the scheme.

“There is clearly a need for the next planned September survey by Ceredigion County Council to better engage with all the town’s residents.

“They have serious concerns which have to date been given to Ceredigion County Council officers by local councillors.

“However, the response from officers to residents has been insubstantial and does not address the main issues.

Cllr Davies, with the support of county councillor Cllr Catrin Miles, has put a series of questions to Ceredigion:

What are the plans for the traffic diversion – when is the proposed end date or will the scheme be altered in the weeks ahead for Cardigan? Can residents be given formal confirmation that the current diversion is not permanent?

There have been safety issues and reports of pedestrians being clipped by traffic – is there an alternative solution?

Could the time of the pedestrianised street be reduced, as some traders and councillors have suggested to 4pm or 5pm and remove the need for it on Sundays?

During the current 6pm daily re-opening, can they ensure that any road closed signs are taken down? Residents report continued traffic after 6pm due to this signage still being in place and causing confusion.

Residents have also asked, in the inception of the diverted route, was a risk assessment undertaken?

Cllr Davies said: “There needs to be better engagement by the county council in the weeks ahead, more than a paper or online survey.

“The residents would like a meeting with council officers for clarification on any future plans with the town centre diversion and discussion of alternative ideas. Lessons can be learnt.

“Cardigan is a strong, and as shown recently, a resilient community. With increasing case numbers of Covid-19, we need to try to work together during this pandemic for the foreseeable future.”