Footfall figures in Tonypandy have continued to rise following a major highways scheme to grow passing trade for businesses. There were more than 133,000 visitors to the Town Centre from April to June 2019 – representing a quarterly increase of 19,600 visitors.
Earlier this year, the Council announced a significant increase of around 16,000 visitors to the Town Centre in January-March 2019, in comparison to the 98,462 visitors in the last quarter of 2018 (October-December).
In November 2018, the Council completed work at Dunraven Street to remove the 200-metre pedestrian-only zone, which was in place since the 1990s. By re-establishing vehicular access – and installing traffic calming features, short stay parking spaces, pedestrian crossing points, street furniture, footways and a bus stop – the Council’s intention was to attract more Town Centre visitors.
The Council has now confirmed the footfall figure for Tonypandy Town Centre during April-June 2019 was 133,696, which represents a further rise of more than 19,500 from quarter one to quarter two in 2019. In comparison to the final quarter of 2018, it represents a cumulative increase of over 35,000 visitors.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways, said: “By reinstating vehicular access at this section of Dunraven Street, the Council intended to make businesses more accessible through short-stay parking bays and a new bus stop in high street. The continued footfall increases, by almost 20,000 between the first two quarters of 2019, suggests the scheme is working.
“This was one of the major schemes to be delivered by the Council through its £23.6m Highways Capital Programme for 2018/19 – which has been followed by an additional £25.9m investment in the service for 2019/20.”
Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, added: “Improving our Town Centres continues to be a priority for the Council, and this highways scheme in Tonypandy is part of a wider regeneration plan for the area. It has already benefitted from free parking and significant library refurbishments, while more than 30 properties have had Town Centre Maintenance Grant bids approved.
“There was also a recent announcement by Rhondda Housing Association confirming its purchase of the former Co-Op site, to bring it back into use with the help of the Council. Free Town Centre Wi-Fi will also be rolled out soon.
“I’m very pleased that the footfall figures for the Town Centre continue to rise following the strategic Highways scheme last year, to remove the pedestrian-only section of Dunraven Street with the intention of increasing passing trade.”
The Council is aware of issues with parking on the pavement in the Town Centre. A further improvement project to help address this issue is currently being finalised, and is scheduled to take place this summer.