Concern That Tory-Lib Dem Cuts Could Hold Up Llandeilo Bypass Development

Llandeilo’s local Assembly Member has spoken of his concern that there could be further delays to the Llandeilo bypass project as a result of cuts being imposed by the Conservative – Lib Dem coalition. Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM took the issue up with the First Minister of Wales during a session at the Assembly highlighting the need to see the bypass moved forward.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said:

“Ieuan Wyn Jones AM as Deputy First Minister and the Minister for Transport put this much needed project on the work schedule. There is little doubt that the Welsh Government want to see it happen, but I am deeply concerned that there could be further delays due to the ConDem coalition’s decision to savagely slash a huge chunk of the Welsh budget. Clearly they are simply looking at a short term cost cutting exercise. What is needed is a more long term view which would recognise the importance of the bypass in developing the economic and tourist opportunities for Llandeilo and the surrounding areas.

I was pleased that the First Minister agreed with me when I questioned him about the importance of the project and he was equally concerned that the public service budget attack by Conservative and Lib Dem MPs could hold up the proposal even further.”

Jonathan Edwards MP added:

“One of the key messages that I was getting in Llandeilo during the election campaign was the need for this bypass to go through. I know that Ieuan Wyn Jones AM has been supportive of it and has ensured it is approved and in line to be started. However, there are of course concerns that if the Conservatives cut back Welsh budgets then this is one project that could end up having to be delayed. That would be a major blow not only to Llandeilo but to Carmarthenshire as a whole.”

ENDS / DIWEDD

Notes to editor.

Transcript of Assembly session Tuesday 28th September

Rhodri Glyn Thomas:You will be aware that Llandeilo has been waiting for a long time to have a bypass and the case for it has been argued and accepted. It is on the list of amendments proposed by the Deputy First Minister. Do you share my concern that there could be a further postponement now because of the cuts being made by the coalition in Westminster?

The First Minister:I am very familiar with Llandeilo and the problems that are caused by traffic during the day. I share the concern about what will happen on 20 October. We do not know exactly what the scale of the cuts will be, particularly for capital, but I made the point several times to the Westminster Government that it should consider the funding for Wales and the way in which it is funded in the long term. However, I understand that the people of Llandeilo want to see a bypass as soon as possible, but the answer on the timetable will be clearer after the end of next month.

4 Responses to “Concern That Tory-Lib Dem Cuts Could Hold Up Llandeilo Bypass Development” [latest first]

  1. My understanding that the reason the Llandeilo bypass is not going ahead was not financial but practical. There remain two major problems with the proposed route:
    1. The increase in flooding that will be caused in Ffairfach. The environment agency have apparently argued against any floodplain development, this includes the proposed bypass.
    2, The cutting off of Llandeilo train station from the town, by the bypass.
    These two concerns were first highlighted in the public enquiry in the 1970s, the current route does nothing new to address these problems.
    I question the assertion that Llandeilo is wholeheartedly for the proposed bypass route, a petition at the time of the recent public consultation gathered about a thousand signatures, out of a Llandeilo population of 2000, against the proposed route. A second petition gathered around the same number, agreeing that the proposed route did not address the two concerns above adequately.
    There may be consensus in the town for a route that gives the town a wide berth far to the east, that sidesteps the two major problems of the current route. A model for this can be seen at Brecon where the bypass gives the town a very wide berth, and is a great success.
    The extra costs for a longer route would be counteracted by savings in flood prevention measures for Ffairfach.
    For a further exploration of these views and other possible solutions see http://www.bridge-gallery.co.uk/bypass/

  2. I live in Llandeilo, and I for one would be delighted if the bypass was delayed because of cuts. This delay should be used to revisit the planning and the chosen route of the bypass. Whilst most people agree that a bypass of sorts may be required to relieve heavy vehicle congestion and traffic, businesses are fully aware of the damage to the local retail economy of having a bypass that diverts normal traffic away from the town as has happened in numerous other towns across Wales – St.Clears and Whitland being prime local examples. In addition, there is the contentious issue that the proposed route has only been chosen because it is the cheapest and does not factor in or take into the impact on the landscape and environment. The bypass needs to be replanned and rethought taking into account new ideas of traffic management, town planning and changed circumstances. Rhodri Glyn Thomas is wrong if he thinks that the case for it has been ‘argued and accepted’ – it has not and he would be misrepresenting the views of many town residents if he pushed for implementation of the current out of date and inappropriate plan.

  3. I endorse the arguments stated above AGAINST a proposed bypass

    With regard to the safety issue often made rhetorically that ” it is amazing that no one has been killed on the high street yet”
    The fact is that a more likely scenario is fatalities caused by speeding at 60mph along a bypass rather than by slow moving traffic along the high street

    A near town option would devastate the local environment and destroy the pristine setting of the town of Llandeio in its setting in the Towy valley

    A walk or two along this section of the valley and a day off from town and committee might persuade some to think (again)

  4. Ieuan Wyn Jones: I have set out key areas where I am determined we should make substantial advances: Firstly, cutting transport emissions – vital for moving towards a greener Wales – and here I stress our determination to meet the key One Wales objective of an annual 3 per cent cut in emissions in devolved areas by 2011.

    HOW? By destroying the countryside?

    Rhodri Glyn Thomas: “You will be aware that Llandeilo has been waiting for a long time to have a bypass and the case for it has been argued and ACCEPTED.”

    I am sorry Rhodri, you are wrong!

    As far as a large percentage of the population of Llandeilo is concerned the case for the bypass has NOT been accepted. An extremely high proportion of those on the Electoral Register objected to these plans by signing the petition against the proposed route.

    The solution to the volume of traffic is simple. Actively police and manage the heavy transport that has no business in Llandeilo by diverting these lorries to the upgraded and improved, at vast expense, northern bypass via Carmarthen. Plus, simple traffic management systems can be implemented as was proven in 2008. The good people of Llandeilo remarked on the vast improvement when Rhosmaen Street was closed for roadworks. This was accomplished by simply re-routing traffic, restricting parking and introducing traffic lights.
    A far more economical and environmentally sound answer than decimating the finest asset Llandeilo possesses – views of and from the stone bridge, the River Towy and the valley.

    Is it possible to consolidate unnecessary road construction with the ideals of Transition Town Llandeilo, e.g. reduce the need for transportation?

    No!

    The very reason tourists visit Llandeilo is because of the green openness of the Towy Valley
    What is needed is a more long term view which would recognize the bypass RUINING the economic and tourist opportunities for Llandeilo and the surrounding areas.

    Wherever there is a bypass, people pass by.

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