Plaid Cymru Assembly Member, Adam Price, has requested an urgent meeting with the Welsh Government's Economy Secretary ahead of the National Assembly vote on the government's £15billion annual budget citing "ambiguous and contradicting statements by the Labour government over the Llandeilo bypass".
Ahead of the Christmas season Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM, Adam Price, who led budget negotiations and achieved a £50million investment for a bypass around the town of Llandeilo, expressed concern that the project could already be facing a 10 month delay.
Responding to the Plaid AM's concerns, a spokesperson for the Welsh Government said work on the scheme was "well under way". But in a move which has worried Adam Price and his constituency colleague, Jonathan Edwards MP, the Welsh Government's updated National Transport Finance Plan, published on 19 December 2017, states the Welsh Government is now looking to confirm whether a bypass "is still required or if alternative solutions can be implemented."
Adam Price said that on no occasion had an alternative to a bypass been discussed. He has requested "urgent clarification" from the Economy Secretary that the Welsh Government "will honour the agreement".
Jonathan Edwards MP said the problems of congestion, safety and pollution in Llandeilo have not changed, and that the case for a bypass has been long accepted.
Adam Price AM said:
"I am increasingly concerned and frustrated by what is beginning to look like a catalogue of ambiguous and contradicting statements by the Labour government over the Llandeilo bypass.
"I achieved an unequivocal commitment to construct a bypass, and on no occasion since that agreement or in my meetings with the Economy Secretary has anything other than a bypass been discussed or suggested.
"The new reference to some sort of alternative, published in an official government document when the Assembly was in recess, appears, on the face of it, to be a breach of a formal budget agreement.
"We need an urgent clarification from the Economy Secretary that the Welsh Government will honour the agreement. I hope the Economy Secretary is prepared to provide the clarification and commitment we need."
Jonathan Edwards MP added:
"Nothing but a cast-iron public commitment from the Welsh Government that the Llandeilo bypass will be constructed in 2019 will suffice now.
"The problems of congestion, safety and pollution have not changed in Llandeilo since that budget agreement was reached. If anything those problems have increased. The case for a bypass has been long recognised and accepted.
"We cannot have a situation where any citizen of Wales, not least the people that Adam and I represent in Llandeilo and north Carmarthenshire, are promised investment only to see their national government cynically publish during the Christmas recess the option to backtrack on that promise.
"We need clarification from the Economy Secretary as a matter of urgency."