REPORTS of vehicles driving through the pedestrianised town centre of Caldicot is an accident waiting to happen, says the town’s mayor.
The shopping street in Caldicot, Newport Road, is a pedestrian zone and prohibits any vehicles from entering the area. The shops nearby are currently in discussions with Monmouthshire council to work on a permit system which allows those with no rear access to make deliveries through the pedestrianised area.
At a Caldicot Town Council meeting, councillors raised concerns of vehicles driving through the pedestrian zone last week.
Cllr Alan Davies, mayor of Caldicot Town Council, said: “We’ve had complaints of vans going through the town centre. A resident from my ward said a van drove through last week and pedestrians some of which were children had to dodge the van - they were going fast enough for people to have to move out of the way.
“It’s important that we support small businesses. The permit system allows the delivering of goods but the shops who have rear access for deliveries have no excuse what so ever to come through the town.
“I’m very concerned about this, my background is in health and safety and the risk assessment is high for this area – there could be a serious injury at some stage. We can’t go on with this; it’s an accident waiting to happen.”
The town council have written to Monmouthshire County Council to see whether the signage can be improved and have written to Gwent Police.
Cllr Davies added: “Ideally, we would like to have an automatic barrier but it’s all to do with costs. The signage needs to be improved and we need to be more vigilant. We don’t want to be dealing with this issue after an accident.”
Laura Pay-Savage, owner of The Baguette Shop, on Newport Road, said: “We are one of the businesses who don’t have rear access. I tell our delivery drivers not to drive in the middle of the road and to come early in the morning.
“We are currently in talks with highways to get permits - we need to be able to make deliveries otherwise we can’t function.”
Sgt Phillip Purcell told the town council that officers were monitoring the situation and would offer shops one warning if delivery vehicles stayed too long in the pedestrian zone.
A Gwent Police spokeswoman said: “We have been involved in multiagency meetings and discussions with the town council, Monmouthshire local authority, local businesses and county councillors about this issue. Permits and applications for dispensations in reference to the pedestrian zone are the responsibility of the local authority and should be contacted directly on this matter.
“We regularly patrol the town centre and anyone driving illegally in a pedestrianised area will be spoken to and action will be taken where appropriate.”
We contacted the council for a comment but have not received one.