A VILLAGE couple are challenging road and planning officials to spend an hour sat in a parked car outside their home – but claim they would be so terrified of the speed and conduct of some drivers they wouldn’t last five minutes.
Jim and Carol Bond live in Maes-y-Wern, a row of homes adjacent to the busy A494 Ruthin Road in Gwernymynydd.
They fear if no traffic safety action is taken someone could be killed.
Mr Bond, 62, said: “It’s intolerable. We have press cuttings going back to the 70s about accidents and our fight to get something done about this road. Lorries are one of the biggest problems with speed a big issue.
“As it’s a steep hill they can really build up some speed and are often clearly going way over the 40mph limit. It’s worse when you get two or three together, it’s terrifying as they travel so close and are travelling so fast. It’s frightening to think how long it would take them to stop.
“I really would like to challenge some of these officials to come and sit in a car outside our home. I think they’d last five minutes - it’s absolutely terrifying.”
The Welsh Government, which is responsible for road safety on the trunk road, said a speed review along the stretch of the A494 found the existing speed limit is ‘appropriate’.
Traffic islands and bollards have been poisitioned to help people cross, a spokesman added.
Mr and Mrs Bond have a disabled son Simon, 42, who suffers from cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound.
Mr Bond said: “We have a disabled access ramp outside our house as the road is higher than the pavement. We need that for when Simon visits. He lives in Caegwrle now in an assisted living complex but when he comes home we have to get him out of the back of his Puegeot wheelchair accessible vehicle.
“Carol wears a fluorescent jacket when she gets him out to try and give herself some protection.
“But it isn’t just when Simon visits – Carol’s mum, Irene, who is 88, lives next door to us and is registered blind.
“We have to get her across the road to where we have a small car park at the bottom of Minfordd Fields. And that can be an absolutely terrifying experience.
“In fact many people living in Maes-y-Wern are elderly and use the disabled ramp outside our home to cross the road, as do mums with pushchairs.”
Mrs Bond, 63, said: “We want to see some action taken. We pointed out all these problems before they built Minfordd Fields but no one listened. It really is only a matter of time before someone is killed.”
Mr Bond added: “We really want answers as to why the 1997 enquiry, when Minfordd Fields was being built, hasn’t been followed through. The bollards they put up in the middle of the road are in the wrong place and we’d like to see a speed camera installed to try and slow vehicles down.
“Why can’t they reduce the speed limit to 30mph which is a more realistic speed? We also need a traffic light controlled crossing. There is one 300 yards or so down the road but that’s far too far for elderly people to walk.”
Mr Bond also said he feared that if plans for the new recycling plant at the Cambrian Quarry get the go-ahead the road could have even more lorries travelling up and down Gwernymynydd Hill.
Gwernymynydd County Councillor Nancy Matthews said: “I totally agree with Jim and Carol Bond that something needs to be done and done soon. The situation and parking arrangements for residents of Maes-y-Wern is unacceptable.”
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “A speed review along this length of the A494 concluded that the existing speed limit is appropriate.
“Traffic islands and bollards have been located to address the previous problem of vehicles overtaking in this area and have been positioned to facilitate pedestrians crossing the carriageway.”