Debenhams opening in Haverfordwest sparks road chaos fears
10:01am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
Fears that a new Debenhams store will play havoc with traffic in Haverfordwest may lead to radical change to road layouts.
The two-storey store, which opens on Thursday, October 24, will join other big-name shops such as Next and Marks and Spencer at Withybush Retail Park, and is expected to bring hundreds of extra shoppers to the site every day.
But county councillor Mark Edwards, who covers the Prendergast ward in which the store will be sited, has raised concerns over the impact it will have on traffic in the area.
Cllr Edwards has been vocal in welcoming the firm, but warned it could have “major implications for local residents”.
“The size of the car park is insufficient even before Debenhams arrives,” he added.
“I know from talking to local people that they are concerned not only with the amount of traffic the new store will generate but the possible repercussions with regard to on-street parking which will lead to clogged roads.”
Cllr Edwards said the county council was ‘well-aware of the issues’, but that, as the land is privately owned, its hands were tied.
He added that the council had met with site owners M and G Real Estate to discuss what could be done.
Pembrokeshire County Council’s Head of Highways, Darren Thomas, said the firm intends to use traffic stewards on-site to help with traffic flow, and is considering the installation of vehicle number plate recognition equipment.
The possibility of erecting a multi-storey car park to the rear of the retail park - which could also possibly cater for patients and visitors of Withybush hospital – was also raised.
Also on the cards is a new entrance from Sydney Rees Way, which would involve changing the road structure to compliment the retail park, plus reducing the speed of the traffic.
Retail park staff will have to use designated spaces at the rear of the store or will be asked to use the multi-storey car park in town centre and catch the free shuttle bus work.
Pembrokeshire County Council has confirmed it is also investigating ways of strengthening the link between the retail park and the town centre by improving public transport accessibility.
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