Disappointment as Welsh Gov rejects funding bid to repair road closed by landslide
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
A senior councillor has expressed his disappointment after a bid for money to repair a road in Wrexham which was closed by a landslide was rejected.
A section of the B5605 between Newbridge and Cefn Mawr was severely damaged during Storm Christoph in January, when torrential downpours caused part of the footpath to collapse down an embankment.
Wrexham Council previously applied for funding from the Welsh Government to fix the road, with the repair bill estimated at between £500,000 to £1m.
Deputy council leader David A Bithell has voiced his frustration after it was revealed the request for money from a flood alleviation scheme was recently turned down as it did not meet government criteria.
However, he expressed hope that other grants could be made available to end the disruption for residents in the area.
He said: “The Welsh Government have said that we’ve been unsuccessful, which we found disappointing given the level of commitment that I personally received from both Lesley Griffiths and the Welsh Government to say that they would fund schemes.
“What they have said since is that they are looking at another grant now that we may be able to bid into.
“Our officers are currently working with Welsh Government to see whether we can bid for grant funding under the transport scheme.
“It was disappointing because Newbridge is part of the diversionary route for the A483, between the Halton roundabout and Ruabon, in the event of incidents.
“Clearly that’s impacting on local residents coming from Chirk, Newbridge, Cefn, Rhosymedre and the area around there.”
Dozens of homes in the county borough had to be evacuated during the storm earlier this year as flood water entered a number of people’s properties.
Residents in Bangor-on-Dee, New Broughton, Pontfadog and Rossett were all impacted by the bad weather, with the government promising financial support.
Cllr Bithell previously urged ministers to keep to their promise to provide money to cover the costs of the storm damage.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “Wrexham Council’s application to the flood and coastal erosion risk management programme for this project was unsuccessful as the programme was set up to fund repairs to damaged flood assets which benefit properties only.
“The guidance provided clearly states ‘Works which only benefits highways will not be eligible’.
“We are now working with Wrexham Council to find another means of funding the project.”
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