Montgomeryshire MS Russell George has said he is disappointed that several road improvement schemes in Mid Wales will not go ahead following the Welsh Government’s road review.
Mr George has, however, welcomed the news that the A470 Caersws scheme is to progress, and that there was further confirmation that the Pant-Llanymynech bypass was not amongst schemes being axed.
Nearly all road-building projects in Wales had been delayed, changed, or scrapped altogether after they were put on hold in June 2021 when the Welsh Government announced that it would review them to see if they still represented value for money and met climate change targets.
Ministers in Cardiff Bay decided to scrap several Mid Wales Safety Schemes, including on the A470 at Llangurig, the A470 at Llanidloes, and the A487 at Machynlleth. Plans to improve the A44 between Llangurig and Aberystwyth are also going ahead despite the panel advising the Welsh Government saying it should not.
The report stated that the A470 Caersws scheme should be progressed, but will be subject to further development to improve provision for active travel and benchmarking against other safety schemes to demonstrate that it is among the best of safety schemes waiting for funding.
Mr George also asked the Deputy Minister, Lee Waters, in the Senedd on 14th February about the Welsh Government’s commitment to the Llanymynech-Pant bypass. The road scheme would require support from both the UK and Welsh governments.
The newly released National Transport Delivery Plan states the Welsh Government will work together with National Highways to see whether scheme proposals align to the tests set out in the Welsh Government's response to the Roads Review.
Commenting, Russell George MS said:
“I have a mixed reaction to the outcome of this Welsh Government’s road review, which I didn’t think was necessary in the first place, and am disappointed it has taken so long to be completed and the findings announced.
“Roadbuilding projects across Wales were unnecessarily frozen for nearly two years as we awaited the results of this review, which has only served to delay essential projects that would improve our transport network.
“For many years I have been promoting road improvements such as on the A44 between Llangurig and Aberystwyth, so it is great news this scheme is going ahead despite the panel’s recommendation that it does not, as this road is known as one of the un-safest roads in the UK.
“I am pleased that the A470 Caersws scheme will proceed, although it will frustratingly still be conditional on the improved provision of further active travel routes and subject to the available funding.
“I am also glad that the Llanymynech-Pant bypass is not being axed, and I now intend to formally ask both the Welsh and UK governments for an update on progress. We need this scheme to go ahead so we can alleviate congestion and help the growth of the Mid Wales economy as well as for the good of economic growth, job security, and business efficiency.
“There are other schemes that have been axed, such as the A470 Llangurig and Llanidloes schemes, that I don’t think were required and were progressed without public support, but I hope ministers will explore other improvements such as increasing the number of lay-bys on this stretch of road to support improved traffic flow.”