Agenda item

Abergavenny Public Realm Improvements Phase 3


We received a report by the Group Engineer – Highways and Flood Management, regarding Phase 3 of the Abergavenny Public Realm improvements.  In doing so, the following information was noted:


·         The section between Whitehorse Lane and the Baker Street junction is now traffic free and provides a substantial open space which is being developed in a similar style to St. John`s Square. This will provide opportunities for businesses such as cafes restaurants and public houses to develop outdoor activities. It will also provide a significantly improved open space for the cultural and sporting events held in the town.


·         The Baker Street / Frogmore Street junction will be a transitional area between the pedestrianised public open space and a conventional footway / carriageway split in Upper Frogmore Street. The detail design of this area is still being developed.


·         Upper Frogmore Street will be reconstructed with a traditional footway / carriageway arrangement with kerbed edges.


·         The width of the carriageway will be reduced to the minimum possible allowing the footways to be extended. The material pallet for this section is proposed as traditional tarmac for the carriageway with the footways being styled in the fashion of St John`s Square with a mixture of penant slabs and `suresett` bound gravel.


·         It is proposed to make a `no left turn` for motor vehicles into Baker Street from Frogmore Street, allowing cyclists to continue to use this route. This will allow the provision of some disabled parking spaces to be located at the end of Baker Street to compensate for lost spaces elsewhere.


·         It is proposed to introduce a contraflow cycle lane along Lion Street from the shared space at the junction of Market Street to allow a safe cycle access from the A40. This will be subject to detail survey and design.


·         The whole project has been developed in consultation with the Abergavenny Town Team.


·         Works to Phase 3 are scheduled to commence in early January 2019 and be completed in June / July 2019.


·         Phases 2 and 3 of the project have been funded by a combination of Section 106 funding and Welsh Government Local Transport Fund (LTF). The LTF funding has been split over three years. The current year grant is £320,000 which is fully committed. It is assumed that the final phase of the bid (£330,000) will be approved for expenditure in 2019/20.



·         There has been an over spend on Phase 2 of approximately £280,000 which has been reported to Welsh Government in the hope that additional funding will be made available.  This is still being considered by Welsh Government. The additional costs have arisen predominantly from alterations to the Project to accommodate changes to the bus routes and bus stops and strengthening the foundation of the road in Frogmore Street. Since Phases 2 and 3 overlap, there is scope to allocate some of the Phase 3 funding to reduce the over spend. This will result in less funding available for Phase 3.


·         Alun Griffiths will be appointed to complete the works in accordance with the existing Contract for which an extension has been approved.


·         Members of the Abergavenny Town Team have expressed a desire to relocate the Cenotaph either to a new site adjacent to Tesco or to the public open space in Baker Street.

This idea has been considered within the scope of Phase 3 of the Abergavenny Public Realm Improvements.

The location of War Memorials has historically been in a high profile position with the intention of it becoming a focal point for Remembrance Services. The requirement for road closures reinforces the impact of the Services and allows the area in the vicinity of the Memorial to become tranquil for the period of the Service.

The funding for Phase 3 is entirely Welsh Government Local Transport Fund which is specifically allocated to improve transport, travel, air quality and road safety issues. In terms of these issues, the current position of the Memorial provides the splitter island to safely disperse traffic from Frogmore Street onto the A40 with minimum queueing times. There is no justification for moving the Memorial in achieving the objectives of the LTF grant funding.

The physical movement of the Memorial is high risk, as it may be quite fragile. There are no available records of its foundations and plinth and how these are connected. It is difficult to quantify this risk and the associated remedies and costs to repair any damage that occurs.

Taking all these factors into account Phase 3 of the project will be designed on the basis that the Cenotaph will remain in its current location.

Having considered the report, the following points were noted:


·         Team Abergavenny is holding a meeting with Monmouthshire County Council Highways officers on 16th October 2018 at 10.00am regarding Abergavenny Public Realm Improvements Phase 3. Area Committee Members are invited to attend.



·         In response to a question raised regarding some confusion by members of the public regarding the locations of temporary bus stops due to the highways works being undertaken, the Group Engineer stated that he would liaise with the Welsh Government and the Passenger Transport unit informing them of these issues.


·         Some disabled parking spaces will be lost.  However, the re-alignment of Baker Street will allow for the creation of four disabled parking bays in Baker Street.


·         Mr Michael Prys-Williams, representing the British Legion, stated that the British Legion wanted the Cenotaph to remain in its current position.


·         The costs to potentially move the Cenotaph are currently unknown. If the Cenotaph was moved, this would have an impact on the completion time of Phase 3 with additional funding and permissions being required.


·         Consultation with taxi firms is being undertaken.  It was considered that the taxi spaces could be moved to accommodate disabled parking.


·         It was considered that a more flexible approach could be considered with regard to parking provision.  Loading bays could be used for parking outside of loading hours.


We resolved to receive the report and noted its content.




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