The work on the new pedestrian crossing point in Great Darkgate Street – the main street in Aberystwyth - has confused many people.
Being a trunk road, Great Darkgate Street is the responsibility of the Welsh Government, with some input from the County Council. A few months ago the Welsh Government were seriously questioning whether a controlled crossing was needed here at all. Aberystwyth councillors, including this one, protested and the idea of getting rid of the crossing was dropped. Then the lights disappeared overnight and councillors feared the worst.
However the story is that the lighting column had suddenly become unsafe and needed to be removed immediately. The new arrangement, where new, somewhat utilitarian, railings have been put up and the road narrowed to one lane, looks temporary and it is. Apparently the lead-in period for new lighting of this sort is twelve weeks so something had to be put in place to safeguard people crossing in the meantime.
When the new lights are finally ready the fencing will be removed, including the longstanding blue railings on the left of the picture that have always seemed misplaced as they restrict pavement space. The pavement will then be built further out into Great Darkgate Street, roughly in line with the new railings, keeping the new one-lane traffic configuration. This reflects the reality of the road usage anyway and will give more space to pedestrians at this busy spot. From the sound of it, I think this will be an improvement on the previous situation. We'll know within twelve weeks.