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Calls for immediate halt to bypass amid environmental concerns

10 Oct 2021 3 minute read
Simon Hart (left) by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0). Lee Waters (right) by Senedd Cymru (CC BY 2.0).

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.

Zero emissions

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.

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Sian Caiach
2 years ago

It’s about time we all started looking at “traffic problems” as not needing new roads to solve them, but new ways of living without cars.. What is more important than our dwindling ancient forests and the security and health of our environment. A new road will doubtless allow traffic to travel faster and more cars and faster speeds may be the result, but surely it is time now to think of the future of our planet and the health of our nation, its people and our treasured wildlife and countryside. I live in a congested town where a bypass is… Read more »

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
2 years ago

At least can someone get people’s names right. Waters, as under his picture, not Walters as stated twice in the body of the article.

Meic Dafis
Meic Dafis
2 years ago

The nutters on the bus are determined to keep roads unsafe. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows the A40 in that location is dangerous. Perhaps Friends of the Earth Pembrokeshire (Sid and Doris Bonkers) are happy with their penny farthings and yurts; unfortunately, some of us aren’t remote-working trustafarians and have to work for a living. We are at least entitled to travel to and from work safely and at the time of our choosing. Besides, there has already been an environmental impact study at Redstone Cross.

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