We received many comments about the proposed improvements to the promenade and coastal defences.
Many people expressed their support for the new sandy beach, picnic areas, rewilding the embankment, children’s play areas and safe family cycling on the promenade.
We also received comments with concerns or requests about particular aspects of the proposals, so we have provided more information on these:
Existing Concession Kiosks
Most people who specifically commented on the concession kiosks expressed concern that these were to be removed from the promenade, as they are popular and provide a service to locals and visitors. Some people wanted to keep the buildings as they are, and some people wanted to make sure that the facilities would be replaced.
The scheme is being funded by the Welsh Government’s Coastal Risk Management Programme, and constructing new buildings would not be covered by this funding. This scheme does include creating the plots and all the required utilities for new buildings.
The project team has submitted a business case for direct funding by Conwy County Borough Council for the design and construction of two new concession buildings. If successful, this would provide two new, modern, accessible and sustainable concession buildings. We are also continuing to explore other possible funding opportunities to replace the kiosks.
Why is it needed?
Relocating the concession kiosks on the promenade would allow us to create a pedestrian only area as well as an unobstructed ‘share with care’ active travel route for cyclists and pedestrians. This will bring this section up to the standard of the active travel route that has been successfully introduced further along the promenade in Colwyn Bay. Relocating the buildings would also make them more resilient to flooding by constructing them on raised plinths set back from the seawall.
More than half of comments received from local residents raised concerns about the proposed road amendments, making the promenade along the bottom of the Cayley Embankment a one-way route travelling from Rhos towards Colwyn Bay.
We also received comments about pedestrian safety across Cayley Promenade due to the additional traffic. We have included crossing points at various locations to make sure people can cross here safely.
Why is it needed?
If the usable area of the promenade cannot be widened, then very few of the wider benefits can be delivered. Removing the proposed one-way route from the scheme would mean losing most of the safety and recreation benefits.
By reducing the traffic on West Promenade to one lane we would be able to create a safer, more user friendly and accessible promenade. This would be achieved by creating:
- a 4m wide ‘share with care’ active travel route for pedestrians and cyclists.
- an ‘activity zone’ next to the active travel route including seating, planted areas, artwork, picnic areas, and small themed playgrounds catering for children of all abilities.
- a pedestrian-only walkway along the railings at the seaward edge of the promenade, for those who want to move along the promenade at a more leisurely pace, clear of any cyclists.
The existing parking along the bottom of the Cayley embankment would be kept. A new 1m buffer strip would sit alongside the parallel parking areas and behind the chevron parking on the seaward side to improve safety when parking and also when getting out of or unloading parked vehicles.
By implementing a one-way system with a 20mph speed limit, we can improve the safety of all promenade users and provide the wider benefits of the new promenade layout.
What were the other options?
We looked at a number of options to develop the additional promenade width needed to incorporate these improvements. These included:
- Closing West Promenade off to traffic entirely, diverting all traffic to Cayley Promenade
- Widening the promenade by building a new seawall seawards of the existing one, as was done in previous phases
- Building a large retaining wall along the bottom of the embankment to create more space
- Removing all parking from the embankment side of West Promenade
- Introducing a full one-way system to the area covering the roads on both the top and bottom of the Cayley Embankment
While each potential solution provided benefits, they also brought significant drawbacks. We believe the proposed solution of reducing West Promenade to a single lane heading towards Colwyn Bay offers the best compromise solution for all users and local residents.
Shared Pedestrian and Cyclist Space
The proposals show a 4m wide ‘share with care’ pedestrian and cycle path through the centre of the promenade. This is in line with recently upgraded sections of promenade at Colwyn Bay and conforms to guidance from Sustrans, the custodians of the National Cycle Network.
Why is it needed?
The current segregated cycle path is in poor condition and some sections run very close to the road. By creating a wider, clearly marked route, which runs smoothly along the promenade, cyclists of all ages and abilities will be able to navigate this section of promenade safely. There would also be a pedestrian only walkway next to the seawall.
We have previously removed shelters on Rhos promenade due to their deteriorating condition, often linked to the anti-social behaviour they attracted. We have received many comments, from this and previous consultations, that people valued having a space to take a break and seek refuge from the weather.
We have included new shelters within this scheme. Their open design will discourage the antisocial behaviour which blighted the older shelters while still offering refuge from the weather.
We have considered all the comments received during the consultation. We reviewed the details of the scheme and alternative options in light of these comments and made some minor amendments to improve safety. The scheme has not changed substantially from what was presented in the consultation - we believe that the proposals provide the best overall benefits for the widest cross-section of the community, for now and for the future.
The primary goal of the scheme is to upgrade the coastal defences in this area to make sure they are robust enough to protect the promenade, highway, infrastructure, homes and commercial properties from the ever-increasing threat of the sea and climate change.
Importing approximately 1m tonnes of sand to sit in front of the existing seawall will provide this increased protection as well as creating an amenity for locals and visitors to enjoy year round.
At the same we are keen to maximise the wider benefits associated with improving the promenade space by creating a safe, inclusive and accessible promenade for residents and visitors to enjoy for years to come.