Town Access in the PP era

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  • #186249
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    News in that a concerted effort is to be made to try and ensure that town remains accessible in the post pandemic period (whenever that is). Good.

    The town centre was just about holding its own before the Covid Virus came on the scene and whilst my shop closed in March 2020, the ratio between shops exiting the town and those establishing within the town had narrowed. There was a series of good news stories concerning Henblas Street on the horizon. All of this is now in jeopardy.

    Many of us have been pressing for a long time for creative means of accessing Wrexham and the method that is generating the most traction at the moment is the bike. In an age of social distancing and nervousness about coming into the town, the traditional bike ticks more boxes than many alternatives. Not just that. It’s green, it’s environmentally friendly and it’s healthy. Problem is, where do you leave the damn thing if you come into town. Bike theft is very common, and very annoying. One solution would be to offer some space in (say) Queens Square to a private Bicycle Hub operator to allow controlled parking by ticket. This could be a low investment initiative that would probably demand a small enclosed space. Apparently money is to be made available from the Welsh Assembly to grease the wheels (excuse the pun) of similar. So why not

    #186260

    Maureen Gray
    Participant

    Alunh, as much as I would welcome anything that improves the once thriving Town centre that I remember, but do you honestly believe cycling is the answer? This is not Holland or Beijing, there is no cycle culture in Wrexham apart from the lycra brigade, who ain’t going shopping by the way! In my youth, I would cycle, but how many people will cycle into town from Ruabon, Brymbo or Gwersyllt etc so where you actually leave the bike is not the main issue. Sorry to be negative, but back to the drawing board maybe.

    #186262

    Ioan y Ffin
    Participant

    More people would cycle into Wrexham town centre but parking my bike is only one of the reasons i don’t. A) the amount of traffic on the roads, especially vans and lorries B) the physical condition of the roads – potholes may be a nuisance for motorists but they are lethal for cyclists. Years of underfunding is visible in the continual deterioration of all our roads, especially along the edges C) the low number of cycleways and cyclepaths which negate the need to negotiate busy junctions designed for cars, vans and lorries. And finally there is the weather! Fine at the moment but miserably wet most of last winter.

    #186264

    Perhaps a bicycle lift (like a ski ilft) to Rhos, Penycae, Brymbo & Minera is the answer. Most of our population live above the town which is fine for going shopping, we are there in a flash. However, the homeward journey may be onerous and limiting. How many of out busses can accommodate many bikes – perhaps this is the answer – The Bike Bus.

    #186265

    Truthbeknown
    Participant

    Anything that helps get family’s and shoppers in is welcome, free parking and lots of activities will help. To be fair to the council and organisers of past festivals etc, they were making some progress before Covid 2020. Perhaps we can have some cash from the pot spent up North to help after lockdown. As for the cycling as previously said, people don’t cycle to shop, they may be a few who will change to cycling to work if there was somewhere secure, my brother cycles into Chester city centre daily to work and there are provisions to lock the bike, nothing fancy just a metal hoop. Not costly but effective and may be the way to go.

    #186270

    TimRegency
    Participant

    It’s a good idea, there’s no reason we can’t try to be more like Holland. Worth looking into.

    Maybe older, inexpensive bikes would be a safer bet against theft in town.

    #186275

    zinger
    Participant

    If I can’t walk from the bus station to Eagles Meadow there is no way that I would be able to cycle to town, too many hills & I couldn’t ride a bike anyway. The vulnerable self isolating will just have to stay incarcerated for the foreseeable future.
    I suggest that some people do some research into accidents whilst using bicycles from the 1930’s. It is quite revealing & nothing to do with cars.

    #186276

    TimRegency
    Participant

    Not many people use bicycles from the 1930s, but yes, it’s probably dangerous falling from the sheer height of a penny farthing.

    #186280

    Matt
    Participant

    It would be great to cycle like in Holland, but unfortunately Wrexham isn’t flat like it it is over there, which would deter most casual cyclists. They have also invested in a cycle first policy for years and years with cycle paths often partitioned off completely from the roads. It’s an absolute pleasure to cycle anywhere in the country (except perhaps for Amsterdam – which is mental) – I highly recommend it.

    Also there is next to no bike thief mentality over there as pretty much everyone has bikes and lots of them are plain and generic. Over here you can just tell skaggy the bike thief will be around to take some or all of your flash bike away to flog for his next fix.

    To sum up bike theft in Wrexham, even in my school and the bike sheds – how safe your bike was had some kind of ghetto mentality and your bike was only safe if you were a hard knock from Caia park or came from a family with a reputation.

    #186353
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    Maureen (above) asks “Alunh, as much as I would welcome anything that improves the once thriving Town centre that I remember, but do you honestly believe cycling is the answer?”

    Of course not. A scheme that places a bike hub in the centre of the town would never provide an answer to a big problem….and many are correct in the point about Wrexham’s terrain, the Wrexham “culture”, bike theft et al. All are barriers.

    Times are different at the moment. We are going to have 12 months coming up when people will be nervous about buses (and similar) yet might want to venture into town. All I would say is that barriers and problems are merely things to be overcome if there is a will. The hub idea answers some of Matt’s points because a manned hub would make parking secure. I mention Queen’s Square because it is spacious and convenient (close to Cambria, the Library and town). Setting up a hub would be simple and merely be a question of the Council allowing a space and letting someone set up the business.

    To me, if it brings in a few extra people per day, that will help. To rebuild the town which is already creaking will be very difficult, possibly impossible. To succeed won’t come courtesy of some big fat magic wand but lots of tiny steps all coming together

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