Dual the A5: Top government minister backs campaign
A campaign to get the A5 dualled through Shropshire and the Welsh border was given a big boost today.
A Welsh government minister says he will do all in his power to help, working with counterparts on the Shropshire side of the border.
Transport Minister Ken Skates revealed he is actively working to bring highway improvements.
He says one major scheme at the Halton Roundabout bottleneck near Chirk, should be completed by 2021.
And the minster praised the Shropshire Star's Dual-It campaign, revealing experts were working with Highways England to ensure that any work can be dovetailed over the England/Wales border.
Read more on our Dual the A5 campaign
- Top-level talks on future of key Shropshire road
- Official bid to be put in to improve Shropshire road
- Progress made on campaign after cross-border MPs broker talks
Mr Skates, whose constituency borders Shropshire, regular drives along the A5 on his way to the Senedd in Cardiff.
He said: "That is my route of choice and I know just how dangerous is can be. I have seen the single-carriageway road being used as a dual-carriageway – cars overtaking in both directions at the same time. I have even seen a car overtaking a car that was overtaking."
The minster said that as a single carriageway the road was constantly congested.
"The 28 miles of single-carriageway between Shrewsbury and Ruabon is not good for the economy on either side of the border," he said.
"The route between England and Wales, along the A5 and A55 has the highest proportion of freight vehicles in Wales.
"I have been working with north Shropshire MP Owen Paterson to get improvements and I am organising a joint forum with Highways England and the Highways department in Wales in the near future to discuss working together to draw up a package. This has never been done before."
He said that it was important to ensure that improvement schemes on both sides of the border married up, adding: "We have to have an integrated schedule that has the least impact on commuters. In Wales we have numerous highways pinch point that we are investing money into solving. One of these is the Halton roundabout."
The Shropshire Star's Dual-It campaign is calling on the Transport office of the English government to ensure that improvements to the A5 between Shropshire and the Welsh border are including in the next Roads Improvement Strategy.
The petition calls for the road, the only single carriageway length between the southern England ports and Holyhead, to be make a dual carriageway.
There are now 5,000 names on the petition, both online and on a paper petition.
- To sign the petition, click here.