Potholes danger sparks closure of historic quay
KIDWELLY'S historic quay has been closed indefinitely for fear that potholes are causing a risk to visitors.
The nature reserve has been subject to major investment with hopes of encouraging more visitors to the area, but it has been claimed "substandard" workmanship resulted in the area no longer being visitor friendly.
But Carmarthenshire Council, which carried out the £200,000 regeneration work, said the problem with potholes had been caused by boy racers speeding around the car park.
Kidwelly Town Council clerk Geraint Thomas said: "The council is concerned about people using the quay, in particular with their cars, as damage could be caused to their vehicles due to a lot of potholes and the area being unstable.
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"We feel the only way to alleviate the situation is to close the quay to the public to avoid accidents happening.
"It is disappointing that it has ended up this way, but we are in discussions with Carmarthenshire Council to figure out a way forward.
"It is a well-used attraction and a lot of people come down to see rare birds and species.
"This is not going to help the quay or the town in terms of tourism.
"Notices have been put up at the quay, and if people do use it they are using it on their own volition."
The quay and its connected land along Kymer's Canal are seen as a little known treasure for visitors.
Funding for the scheme was granted by the Welsh Government in 2010, with long-term aims to regenerate the area and make the land around the estuary and along the canal more accessible.
Work carried out by Carmarthenshire Council contractors included car park improvements, landscaping, new paths and picnic benches.
Tim Hayes, 57, of Garden Suburbs, Trimsaran, who walks his dog at the quay, said a lot of residents in the area were concerned about the amount of money that had been spent on the project.
He said: "As far as we are concerned heads should roll, but nobody is being held culpable.
"There are a lot of things locally that money could have been spent on.
"It seems to have been sat on until it got to this state — that is really disappointing."
And Councillor Byron Huws described the amount of money spent on repairs as "quite scandalous".
"It is the designer's responsibility and they have really let Kidwelly down," he said.
"Wrong materials have been used by contractors and it has been a huge waste of money."
But Carmarthenshire Council physical regeneration strategic programme manager Mike Bull said: "There has been antisocial behaviour with youths speeding around in vehicles in the car park which has caused potholing problems.
"We have repaired it once as part of phase two and are looking at a long-term solution with the town council.
"We will be looking at making temporary repairs later this week and a more permanent repair, which could include the installation of a barrier, will commence early next month.
"We have had 15,000 visitors since the site has been redeveloped, which was substantially more than was envisaged.
"Antisocial behaviour started the potholing problem which has been exacerbated by the large number of visitors."