In November 2021, Monmouthshire County Council carried out a survey for Magor residents, business and visitors to share their opinions on whether the limited traffic restrictions in the village’s Square, which were introduced to help with social distancing and creating conditions to support businesses to operate safely, should be made permanent. The survey received an overwhelming response, with 548 people taking the time to get involved.
Following the analysis of the responses, it was demonstrated that 77% wanted the current adaptations to the Square to be made permanent as it was felt that they brought more life to the heart of the village, created a safer environment to socialise and move about in, and improved the community atmosphere.
The survey also gathered many interesting suggestions on how the Square could be improved such as more seating, more attractive planters, all weather canopy and on new uses such as occasional food markets, antique markets and fayres. There were also suggestions to review the parking arrangements in the Square to enable those with mobility issues to easily access the shops. The main reason objection, among those who did not support the current restrictions, was not being able to park close to the shops particularly for people with mobility issues. The majority, 57%, of respondents confirmed that they travel to the Square on foot compared to 36% travelling by car.
Monmouthshire County Council’s cabinet member for Infrastructure, Councillor Jane Pratt said: “I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey. As result of this feedback received, Monmouthshire County Council will keep the current arrangements in place and will be liaising separately with the businesses in the Square that have outside seating to discuss and renew licencing agreements. Longer term, we will be working with a range of organisations to prepare different design options for the Square that will seek to accommodate many of the suggestions received through the consultation, while respecting the Square’s historic environment.”
Ward Member for Magor, Councillor Frances Taylor said: “Keeping a small area of the Square traffic free has served to support businesses to trade safely whilst managing Covid -19 risk. It has also crucially helped to create a vibrancy and energy in Magor Square and we have been fortunate to see community support for our new and existing shops and services. I know the Square has been a lifeline for many people. I look forward to working together to consider how we can make best use of the space long term, whilst respecting the historic environment and bringing benefit for local people and our local businesses.”