£29m road and bridge branded a ‘monumental’ mistake
PLAN BLASTED A WASTE OF MONEY THAT WILL BRING ‘NO BENEFIT’ AT ALL
A PROPOSED £29m road and bridge would be a waste of money and continue to cause traffic misery, it has been claimed.
The new crossing to replace Pont-ar-Ddyfi is planned at Machynlleth to carry the A487 across the Dyfi river.
The narrow, Grade II-listed stone-built bridge has repeatedly been shut because of floods or after being damaged by vehicles, forcing motorists to take a 30-mile detour.
An exhibition of the plans was held last month and work is due to begin in autumn 2018 and be completed by the summer of 2020.
But Cllr Mike Stevens, who represents Tywyn, fears the scheme will increase congestion.
He said: “Nowhere in the world would any government spend such an amount of money on a new bridge and take it through a notorious congested town centre under a low bridge.
“The current railway bridge the new route will pass under is not even high enough for a double decker bus to pass under.
“There are also serious doubts that the proposed plan will solve the flooding problem. It’s a monumental mistake.”
He added: “It is the shame of successive Welsh Governments that here we are in the 21st century yet the main north to south Wales arterial coastal route has to cross a single lane bridge that was built in the 17th century for donkey carts.
“Speaking on behalf of the people of Tywyn and south Meirionnydd, the new bridge will bring no benefit. In fact it will increase journey times for ambulances having to take people to Ysbyty Bronglais, Aberystwyth.
“The only long term solution is to bypass the town of Machynlleth and take a new road over the railway line.
“A route further to the west on the A493 near the village of Pennal to link up with the A487 Aberystwyth road would give great economic benefit to communities in south Meirionnydd in addition to hospital services in Aberystwyth.”
Cllr Stevens said there were also concerns a bypass would have a detrimental effect on their economy.
A Welsh Government spokes- man said the new bridge would improve safety and network resilience while dealing with the flood risk, ensuring Machynlleth remains a vibrant town and protecting the historic Grade-II listed original bridge.
He added: “Land owners, Gwynedd council, Powys council, interested parties and statutory bodies have all been part of the process on plans for a new section of the A487 north of Machynlleth, including a new bridge across the Afon Dyfi.
“Following the publication of draft orders last month, there has been another opportunity for people to express views on the proposals.
“The responses received are now being considered and will help better inform us on how we should progress the scheme. A decision on whether a public local inquiry is required will then be taken.”
● The 17the century bridge over the Dyfi river battered by floods in 2011
● Cllr Mike Stevens cites this low rail bridge as one problem with the proposed route