Shropshire Star

Campaigner says long-awaited A483 bypass is closer than ever after Prime Minister's pledge

A roads campaigner says a bypass for Pant and Llanymynech is nearer today than it has been for decades.

Mike Catt from Llanynynech

Mike Catt says he is under no illusion that the A483 bypass for the villages near Oswestry will be anything other than a long-term project.

But he says that, with the Prime Minister telling parliament that it is in development, there must be hope that it will be built.

The scrapping of the HS2 rail line from Birmingham to Manchester has, the Government said, allowed money to be freed up for other local road and rail schemes.

Rishi Sunak told the Commons last month: "We are continuing to develop the Pant/Llanymynech bypass scheme in our next round of the road investment plans."

In 1991, after years of campaigning, a survey was done for a bypass and a proposed route was put on the table. But funding cuts to the Highways budget meant nothing materialised.

Local campaigner, Mr Catt, who won a Pride of Shropshire award for his work pressing for a bypass, said that proposed route would not have worked.

He is hoping that funding will allow a bypass to begin from Oswestry's recently remodelled Mile End bypass.

"The idea of the bypass starting at Llynclys crossroads is totally impractical." he said.

"I hope the powers that be listen and look at the accidents there and at places like the Maesbury junction and the Morda straight, and build it from the Oswestry roundabout."

"There is a lot of work that is needed and it is going to take years just to plan the route with things like the flood plains to be taken into account.

"But we can't give up now, especially as the money had been saved from HS2."

Mr Catt said accidents and near-misses were daily worries and said Pant and Llanymynech needed a bypass more than ever.

"I haven't given up and I won't give up. It has taken over 40 years but I believe the money has now been allocated and we have to get this right.

"There have been sensors put across the A483 at various points in the last couple of weeks and I hope that means that survey work has started."