Shropshire Star

Wildlife leaders rejoice as road schemes scrapped over environment concerns

Wildlife leaders have hailed a decision to scrap several major road schemes over environmental concerns.

Work will not be continuing at the A5/A483 Halton roundabout at Chirk. Picture: Google

Work at the A5/A483 at Halton island, Chirk, and Mid Wales Safety Schemes at A470 Llangurig, A470 Llanidloes, A470 Pont y Bat (Felinfach), A487 Llanrhystyd, A487 Machynlleth, A487 North of Aberarth will now not be progressing, the Welsh Government confirmed.

It comes after a major review of road building in Wales. The news was welcomed by leaders from wildlife trusts in the country.

Tim Birch, senior policy and advocacy manager at Wildlife Trusts Wales, said: “It is clear that the Welsh Government has recognised that business as usual is not an option when it comes to road building across Wales – the climate and nature emergencies must be urgently addressed.

"Tackling the emissions from the transport sector, which currently makes up over 15 per cent of the total carbon emissions in Wales, is critical in the fight against climate change.

"Building more roads to accommodate more cars not only damages the climate but destroys vital habitats for wildlife. That’s why the decision by the Welsh Government to set stringent conditions on any new road building is a very important step.

“These conditions include a need to ensure that any future road building does not lead to an increase in the release of carbon from vehicles. But critically, it seeks to ensure that any future roads do not destroy ecologically valuable sites. This step will hopefully see the end to damaging road schemes.”

Rachel Sharp, director of Wildlife Trusts Wales, added: “For years, the Wildlife Trusts have had to spend our limited resources as a charity in fighting damaging road schemes. At long last, we now have a progressive policy; the Welsh Government should be congratulated for showing bold leadership, which is exactly what’s needed if we are to see the step changes needed to address the nature and climate crisis.”

Alex Griffiths, engagement officer for Stand For Nature Cardiff, added: “The decision made by the Welsh Government to limit future road schemes will massively benefit future generations, and as a young person dedicated to seeing natures recovery being supported by the government, this policy goes a long way to ensuring a future for our wildlife.”

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