Dual the A5 campaign: Welsh transport minister backs our fight
The Welsh Government transport minister has praised the Shropshire Star for its A5 Dual It campaign and promised to do what he can to make improvements on his side of the border.
Ken Skates is seeking cross border, top level talks with his English counterparts
The Economy and Infrastructure Secretary in the Welsh Assembly, Ken Skates, wants an urgent meeting with Chris Grayling, MP, the Secretary of State for Transport in Westminister.
He gave effusive praise to the Shropshire Star for highlighting the dangers of the road and the economic benefits improvements would bring.
"“I welcome this Shropshire Star campaign for much needed improvements on the English side of the border. For our part we're exploring options for improving traffic flow on the Welsh side of the border, with a view of carrying out improvements during the current Assembly and Parliamentary terms,” he said.
Mr Skates, whose Clwyd South constituency includes a large part of the Shropshire border, says the A5 is a vital link for Welsh prosperity.
The road through Shropshire carries not only freight traffic in and out of north Wales but is also a major tourist route, used by hundreds of thousands of thousands of tourists and day trippers from the Midlands and further south travelling to Snowdonia and the coast every year.
“The Welsh Government recognises the strategic importance of the A483/ A5 corridor not only in providing connectivity between mainland Europe and Ireland but also supporting economic growth and tourism across Mid Wales and the Marches," the minister said.
He said behind the scenes talks were taking place to improve the road network.
“As a result my officials have been working closely with partners in England including Highways England, Shropshire County Council, Midlands Connect and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership to identify improvements on both sides of the border."
The Welsh Assembly has programmed work just over the Shropshire/Welsh border at the northern end of the Chirk bypass on one of the busiest stretches of the road where the A5 and A483 use the same single lane carriageway.
"Work to relieve congestion and improve safety at Halton Roundabout and other locations on the A483 in Wales will be taken forward over the next few years as part of my pinch point programme," Mr Skates said.
"I am requesting a meeting with Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport to discuss English investment in this vital route.”
The Shropshire Star is calling on roads minister, John Hayes, to include the A5 in his Road Investment Strategy and upgrade it to a dual carriageway from Montford Bridge to Chirk.