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