It has been a few weeks since I last updated people regarding the traffic congestion in and around Newtown and the progress of the Newtown bypass.
Newtown’s traffic issues date back many years but one of the reasons I stood for election for Powys County Council back in 2008, was out of my frustration with Newtown’s traffic issues and the lack of progress on a bypass. Since then, the issues have got worse with the removal of the Kerry Road roundabout.
Last year I got elected to represent Montgomeryshire at the National Assembly for Wales and this has given me an opportunity to directly put more pressure on the Minister and Welsh Government who are responsible for delivering the Newtown Bypass and who are indeed responsible for increasing the congestion by removing the roundabout.
It has been a busy few months and a lot of activity has happened, so much so that I have attached two timelines below, which will hopefully explain those activities as simply as possible. The first timeline refers to the activities that have occurred up until this point in time. There are two key items of news to report, the positive news is that the Welsh Government, despite financial pressures, has recently re-confirmed the commitment to the Newtown Bypass and it is currently inviting tenders to design and build the bypass.
The discouraging news is that the Minister responsible for Transport, Carl Sargeant AM, has published a study on Newtown’s traffic problems in which it states that since the roundabout was removed, traffic has improved and as a result will not return the roundabout or make any significant changes. I certainly do not accept his findings and you can be sure I will be challenging his data and assumptions. I am also encouraging anyone who disagrees with the Transport Minister’s assessment, to write to him and let him know your views. He can be contacted at:
Mr Carl Sargeant AM
Minister for Transport and Local Government
National Assembly for Wales
In regards to the future progress of the bypass, the second timeline shows the key project milestones which the Welsh Government has to undertake in order to start the construction phase of the Newtown Bypass to its rescheduled date of the winter of 2014-15 and with a completion date of 2016-17.
I hope you find this information helpful to understand the Newtown traffic ‘journey’ thus far. The traffic problem is a challenge that I am doing everything I possibly can to overcome. My next task is to get the Transport Minister to come to Newtown to see the problem and listen to concerns first-hand; only then will he truly appreciate that allowing the status quo to continue is not an option.
If you would like more information or would like any of these phases clarified please do not hesitate to contact me.