£29m road and bridge branded a ‘mon­u­men­tal’ mis­take

PLAN BLASTED A WASTE OF MONEY THAT WILL BRING ‘NO BEN­E­FIT’ AT ALL

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS - Hy­wel Trewyn

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

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