‘Crisis’ for residents of Meirionnydd village as crash nightmare continues
Residents of the Meirionnydd village of Rhyd y Sarn, Ffestiniog, say they are continuing to live in fear of the worrying number of car crashes threatening their community, despite having launched a road safety campaign.
There have now been seven crashes in the village since July 2021, and residents say they have been calling on Gwynedd Council to implement immediate safety measures, such as crash barriers and a halving of the speed limit.
On Friday 14 October 2022 another driver lost control of their vehicle on the notorious bend on the A496 and smashed into the road-side wall in the village, sending masonry tumbling into the Afon Teigl.
Fortunately, the driver escaped serious injury. Had the car gone right through the wall it would have plunged down into the river below.
The police attended the scene, and the badly damaged vehicle was pushed into the layby.. and a council official also attended to assess the infrastructure damage.
Just days later, on 19 October, another vehicle ploughed into the wall, the driver having lost control on the now notorious bend in village.
A paramedic who attended the scene was reported to have said he had lost count of the number of incidents here over the years, adding that at a time when ambulances are struggling to cope with demand, action is needed now at this accident black spot.
Residents’ Campaign co-ordinator, Peter Jones, said: “This will be the fourth time Gwynedd Council has had to repair these walls in the last two years, and crash barriers could alleviate this waste of council tax-payers money on repairing masonry.”
“Gwynedd Council’s Traffic and Project Manager, Iwan ap Trefor and Councillor Robert Glyn Daniels joined us for a site meeting on 23rd May 2022.
“This provided us with an opportunity to discuss the crisis, particularly the urgent need for a speed reduction through our village, together with warning signs that pedestrians are walking in this currently 60mph road, which has neither pavements nor suitable verges.
“Vehicles pass within inches of people, posing an intolerable risk. It is just a matter of time before someone is killed. Failure to act is nothing short of negligence,” Mr Jones stressed
He continued: “Gwynedd Council commissioned consultants some two years ago to audit road safety measures in the area, but they failed to consult residents here to get an accurate idea of what’s actually happening in our village itself.
“The consultants recorded five accidents on the A496 for a four mile stretch between the villages of Tanygrisiau and Rhyd Y Sarn, their source being police records.
“As we all know, the police are not necessarily called to all accidents, especially where drivers simply exchange insurance details and the vehicles are towed away. Had these consultants bothered to consult residents of Rhyd Y Sarn, their report would have been more comprehensive.
“There have now been seven crashes in the village itself since summer 2021, all within a few metres of each other. It’s a local crisis that needs solving urgently.
“Gwynedd Council must not ignore the urgency of this situation. Apart from the need to reduce the 60mph limit to at least 30mph through our community, the council needs to install crash barriers, if only to limit major damage to infrastructure, which needs to be repaired after these all too frequent incidents.”
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