Newtown bypass: Remember sacrifices made by community, says councillor
A councillor has called on locals and commuters to remember the people who have sacrificed their homes and land to make way for the Newtown Bypass.
On Thursday, the first cars will drive on the roadway which has taken just under three years to build at the cost of around £90 million.
Despite all the positives that the bypass will bring, Newtown county councillor Joy Jones has called on locals and commuters to remember the people who have had to sacrifice their homes and land to make way for the new road.
A host of compulsory purchase orders were used by the government to knock down properties and build over people's land.
It didn't come without its problems, with some members of one family chaining themselves to a digger in a protest over the amount they were given for their home. Elsewhere campaigners diverted the route of the bypass to protect the 500 year old Brimmon Oak Tree.
Councillor Jones has also revealed that one business near the path of the bypass has been hit particularly hard, and is still fighting to survive.
She said: "As most of Newtown residents celebrate the forth coming opening of the long awaited bypass there are others who have had their lives and homes turned upside down.
"This isn’t a time of celebration for them, in fact they have been left hurt and devastated by the impact it has had on their lives and in some cases their livelihood.
"The bypass has come at tremendous cost to some families who have lost their beloved homes or seen their farms split in two; changing many hundreds of years of history as their families have farmed and cared for the land.
"People who thought they would have a quite retirement have had to fight for what they are entitled too, and many have been out of pocket as they have had to pay to travel around detours for weeks and in some cases months which has an effect on their income.
"And sadly there is no compensation for these added expenses until the work is completed at the end of the bypass construction.
"The new bypass has taken a dreadful total on one particular local business, which has struggled to keep going through significantly long road closures and disruption. This has left a major impact to their future and it has left them feeling very alone in the fight to survive.
"Although the bypass is an amazing feat of engineering and when travelling along it has the most amazing views and is going to make journeys easier but most commuters using it won’t realise the impact and stain it has put on other people’s lives.
"So as we start to travel along the new road please bear in mind these changes are still ongoing for many people as the work continues around the bypass for many months until it is finally complete."
Councillor Jones also said some residents are not against the bypass, but feel they have been robbed by the Welsh Government of their land.
She added: "The residents affected have always said that they haven’t been against the bypass. They have only ever wanted to be treated fair and when they have felt unheard or ignored they have stood up for what they believe is right.
"I and others have supported residents when asked, which in some cases has been extremely interesting."
The Welsh Government have been contacted for a comment.