Calls for immediate halt to bypass amid environmental concerns
Environmentalists in Pembrokeshire are calling for an immediate halt to all construction work on the Llanddewi Velfrey bypass
For more than two years the group has been objecting to the A40 by-pass from Llanddewi Velfrey to Redstone Cross and now says all construction on the bypass should be halted until assessment of the scheme by th Welsh Government’s Roads Review Panel (RRP) is complete.
Writing to Lee Walters, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change and Transport, Pembrokeshire Friends of the Earth said the scheme will cost “£60 million and cause an estimated 18,300 tonnes of CO2 emissions during the construction phase, this scheme will impact our climate for the next 100 years.
“We are dismayed to see that work on the by-pass has commenced. There is a very real possibility that the review will find that this scheme should not proceed in its current form and so it is imperative that work is halted now to prevent unnecessary damage and CO2 emissions.
“The safety of other road users has been cited as a major advantage of the scheme. However, we would argue that there are a number of ways to achieve this without building a completely new three lane road from Gwyndy to beyond Redstone Cross. The Welsh Government’s design would see 2 lanes of tarmac being replaced by five or six.”
The group added that the new road scheme will also cause ‘a significant loss and fragmentation of ancient woodland’.
It predicts a negative impact on farms in the area and could seriously harm nationally and internationally important species including bats and otters.
When the original contractor Carillion went bankrupt in 2018, construction plans were halted but the Welsh Government insisted that the situation would not ultimately delay the project.
The project was further delayed in June when major traffic schemes throughout Wales would be put on hold in a bid to meet the 2050 zero emissions target by cutting the country’s vehicle pollution.
At the time Mr Walters said that all projects would stop while a review of highway schemes was carried out.
He said: “We need a shift away from spending money on projects that encourage more people to drive and spend more money on maintaining our roads and investing in real alternatives that give people a meaningful choice.”
In response Local MP Simon Hart said: “I cannot believe that Llanddewi Velfrey by-pass has once again been snatched away from residents.
“This road is vital for the safety of the village,” he said. “We have been campaigning for it for more than a decade.”
However, it later emerged that the project was not included in that decision as work had already started.