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Tory MP accuses Welsh Government of ‘blocking road that is 90% in England’ and calls for UK Government to act

10 Feb 2022 3 minute read
Craig Williams. Photo by David Woolfall (CC BY 3.0). Right, the road through Llanymynech.

A Conservative MP has accused the Welsh Government of blocking a new road despite it being “90% in England” and called on the UK Government to “ensure” that they delivered it.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams accuses the Welsh Government of “road blocking” and a “lack of vision on Union connectivity”.

The future of the Pant-Llanymynech bypass was thrown into doubt by the announcement in June of last year that all road schemes in Wales would be paused while a review is carried out.

The review was announced by Wales’ Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters as part of a commitment from the Labour government to tackle the climate emergency.

But MP Craig Williams said: “The Llanymynech-Pant bypass proposal is the most important connection for my constituency, although it is 90% in England.

“I welcome the Treasury Bench’s commitment of £45 million to get it to the next stage, but will the Minister meet with me to ensure that the Welsh Government, with their road blocking and lack of vision on Union connectivity, deliver this road?”

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, David T.C. Davies, responded that “I am sure that everyone on this side of the House is deeply disappointed that the Welsh Labour Government have decided to abandon road building in Wales.”

Most of the road will be built on the English side of the villages, but will connect Pant in England and Llnymynech which is half in Wales and half in England. The A483 road connects Oswestry and Welshpool.

‘Do things differently’

Announcing the rod freeze last year, Lee Waters said he had to take action to “significantly cut carbon emissions”.

“Today, in my role as Deputy Climate Change Minister I’m announcing a pause in all roads schemes not under construction while we review how much headroom we have keep building new roads and meet our Net Zero emissions targets by 2050,” he said.

“I’m asking a panel of experts to look at when new roads are justified – for safety or access reasons for example and how we can redirect funding to roads maintenance and public transport.

“A Climate Emergency demands that we do things differently.”

The Welsh Secretary Simon Hart also criticised the decision to freeze the Pant-Llanymynech bypass in July of last year.

“I remember it being a problem when I lived in the area 25 years ago, so this [the bypass] has been a long time coming,” he said, referring to the Llanymynech-Pant Bypass which is one of the projects put on hold,” he told My Welshpool.

“I think what is really confusing, and quite frustrating, is the fact that we are not going to solve the climate change problem just by making our roads worse. That’s a nonsense logic.

“Of course our economy depends on good roads, good connectivity, particularly cross-border.

“This, to me, seems like a crazy project to bin at this stage because this is an English-Welsh project that joins the two economies together in a really positive way.

“There is no obvious reason why this should be paused. And the idea that somehow there might be some sort of climate change advantage from doing that, I’m afraid, is not being met by anyone from the local community or businesses that depend on this road.”


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Erisian
Erisian
7 months ago

Poor old Oswestry, so close to Wales yet English.
A sort of Penrhyn Sais.

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  Erisian

It certainly isnt – suggest you call in on market day. More Welsh spoken than in Welshpool, Newtown, Llangollen etc

Andrew
Andrew
7 months ago

‘ An English Welsh project ‘..Just like HS 2 then ?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
7 months ago

The reasoning behind the bypass was based on faked information with the crossroads north of Pant included in accident figures even though the faster traffic flows caused by the bypass would make that junction more dangerous. Locally there is a campaign to impose speed controls on the Oswestry bypass which has seen a rise in fatalities since completed.

Craig Williams actually campaigned in Pant on this subject during the recent by-election. He should remember. It was the byelection in which the good people of Pant and surroundings rejected the bypass promoting Tory candidate.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

I would reject him just for the ‘smile’, but it does not follow that it was the proposed by-pass that sealed his fate…

Cofid
Cofid
7 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

So many Tories have the same smug smirk.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

Llanbedr by-pass deserves a second chance while we are on the subject…

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago

The idea that all roads should suddenly become redundant and don’t need upgrading is way too simplistic. Mr Waters get it done then get on with managing a long term programme of change. And lay off the sound bites and virtue signalling.

Paul
Paul
7 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

The problem with continuously expanding the road network, is that road traffic always expands to fill the capacity, so it is a continuous cycle of ever increasing roads and traffic.

We need a sustainable model and it is good that someone has finally taken the hard decision to look for one.

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul

It’s not “continuous expansion” if you draw a line at a point in the (near) future. You finish what’s been approved, like this A483 link, but don’t go into widening M4, A55 again. That said there are parts of the A470 which will need sorting even if we all move along it in electric vehicles. Given that rails tend to connect fixed points we are still going to need a large measure of self driven capacity as buses won’t go everywhere in Cefn Gwlad for a very long time indeed. Or do you propose to corral everybody into densely urbanised… Read more »

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
7 months ago

Next time you are on the A55 driving into England. Look at all the filthy litter that doesn’t get cleaned up after you cross over the border into England. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing the other week, it was gross. And then the English government have the nerve to moan about our roads.

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Come to South Wales and see the litter our own sloppy slovenly folk like to dump out of card and when on foot. Much as I enjoy having a dig at the old Sais for many of our ills I accept that a lot of our dirt is created by our own.

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

suggest you visit at all areas around any McDonalds – many right on the border with Salop & West Chrshire & Wirral …..😱

Stuart Cane
Stuart Cane
7 months ago

He’s always been a pro-car campaigner. When he was local councillor he was trying to get rid of speed bumps around our village in Cardiff. Last time I saw a photo of him he was asleep in the House of Commons. Maybe he should just do us a favour, roll over and continue his post-lunch nap!

Quornby
Quornby
7 months ago

This blowhard has only just had the e-mail instruction about Wales bashing at every opportunity. What a specimen to elect!

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
7 months ago

I’d understand it if his concern was genuinely about the connectivity of the road, it’s ability to connect communities. However, it’s not. Why use use ‘Union connectivity’? I suspect this ‘concern’ is more muscular unionism, an opportunity to criticise the Welsh government. This sort of rhetoric has increased recently as the right wing English nationalist UK government begins to fear the loss of, what it believes is, its western possession..

Richard
Richard
7 months ago

Craig is quite right on this. This road is a vital part of the all Wales network. The fact in runs through a very Welsh area of Shropshire is not the issue. Along with the north / south border rail line it is used by thousands of welsh folk each day for work and health travel . Access to Gobowen Station & Hospital, Croesoswallt Market and yes Wrexham fooball games, allows easy access. Those who do not know this patch and perhaos even Grayham might not know the folk of this area. More Welsh spoken than many areas in Wales,… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Have they opened up the canal yet?

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

In parts it is open but the welshpool + newtown bit awaits where as the llangollen up to Selatyn via Chirk Bank allows easy cross border xing

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

Don’t hear the same Conservative crook Craig Williams asking his English masters at Whitehall why Wales is losing millions structural funding or the billions in HS2 consequential. Oh, silly me. His job is to attack Wales not fight for. After all, he is a lowbrow Tory with as much charisma as a steaming pile of cow dung

Last edited 7 months ago by Y Cymro
Ap Kenneth
7 months ago

Amazing, after decades of indifference to this route all of a sudden its Union Connectivity! Even if it gets built, and driving this route regularly it probably does, whats the betting it would have a 40mph speed limit.

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  Ap Kenneth

At whats wrong with limiting the speeding lorries rushing through the Shropshire villages of Hengoed, Morda, Gobowen, Pant, Llanymynych and nant y caws?

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