Complaints about anti-parking measures that ‘turned part of the national park into Snowconia’
Anti-parking measures installed along a popular road in Snowdonia have been condemned as a danger to motorists and pedestrians.
Hundreds of traffic cones have been put up on either side of the A5 in the Ogwen Valley in response to the parking chaos that enveloped the area last summer.
Some people have since dubbed National Park “Snowconia” and lamented the visual plague of so much orange and white plastic.
The biggest complaint was the narrowing of the roadway by cones lining each side of the road, forcing vehicles towards the center.
Pedestrians and cyclists also complained about the need to avoid cones.
The problem was highlighted by Snowdonia Mountain Community, a Facebook platform promoting the mountains and coastline of the national park.
“These measures are about to be dangerous,” he said.
“They push traffic to the center of the road, leaving vehicles or bikes less room to react.
“Cones can prevent vehicles from parking, but they obstruct pedestrians, some of whom must enter the road.”
Parking has long been a problem in the Ogwen Valley, especially in high season.
There are designated parking lots but these fill up quickly.
Things peaked last summer with the easing of the first lockdown when hundreds of motorists were fined for illegally parking along the stretch of road.
Traffic Wales then started rolling out the cones during rush hour, with the last batch released before Easter.
A temporary part-time speed limit has also been introduced with the aim of improving the safety of all road users, not just motorists.
A Welsh government spokesperson said: ‘Following discussions with North Wales Police, traffic cones have been placed at specific locations along the A5 at Llyn Ogwen ahead of the holiday of Easter to avoid obstructive and dangerous parking lots where a double white line system is present.
Later today, Traffic Wales is expected to issue a joint statement with the Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) warning visitors to Bank Holiday to park responsibly and, where possible, use the car parks.
Traffic cones are seen as a short-term solution to the area’s parking problems.
Did you know that we offer a free email newsletter service?
Each North Wales Live newsletter delivers the latest breaking news, what’s on the hottest events and talking points straight to your inbox.
For more information on how to subscribe, click here.
More permanent measures are under consideration as the SNPA seeks to improve the sustainability benchmarks of the national park.
However, some Facebook contributors insist that cones are “less dangerous” than having to navigate around parked cars and even cyclists.
Others called for a ban on all parking in the Owen Valley, except for motorists who have booked tickets at the visitor center.
Some want to see the current continuous white line on the roadway to Capel Curig – which discourages parking – replaced by double yellow lines, which prohibit parking.
“As it is now, for years people parked there and got tickets or towed and took up arms, like it was never made clear,” one Facebook user wrote.
“The double yellows would make it clear to everyone.”
Enter your zip code in the box below for more news where you live
Snowdonia Mountain Community suggested that the A5 through the Ogwen Valley could even become a “red route,” while retaining the designated parking areas.
Originally introduced in 1929 in London, to reduce traffic congestion, parking restrictions on red roads are generally tougher and more rigorously enforced.
“Red means danger and don’t do it,” a spokesperson said.
“However, the double yellow lines might be better because everyone forgets that a solid white line is a clear way.”
Red route, double yellow lines or total parking ban? Give your opinion in the comments section below.