Improvement works needed for busy trunk road

Improvement work on a trunk road north of the Shropshire/Wales border is vital for safety a Welsh Assembly member says.

Ken Skates
Ken Skates

The issue of much-needed improvements to the A483 north of Oswestry has been raised in the Senedd.

Clwyd South Member of the Senedd, Ken Skates, called for an update on the Welsh Government’s review of the key local route and said work to make Junction 1 at Ruabon safer was vital.

In 2018, while Economy and Transport Minister, Mr Skates announced funding for work to improve junctions three to six on the A483. The Welsh Government, however, later paused all new road projects and said they would be reviewed.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, is now responsible for transport. In the Senedd on Wednesday, he said: “The roads review panel has submitted its final report to the Welsh Government about its findings, and this includes the A483 Junctions 3 to 6 improvements. I will be making a further announcement on the next steps of the roads review by the end of the month.”

Mr Skates has recently spoken of his concerns that congestion at several junctions on the dual carriageway has led to increased traffic on local roads. One example raised by parents is the spike in traffic on the road outside at school in Ruabon.

He said: “Junction 1 at Ruabon was not included in the roads review and therefore work on improving that junction has not been paused, and it’s for good reason. That particular junction is utterly lethal and has created a congestion canyon right up the A483, with resulting carbon emissions increases.

“And, of course, it’s also sending motorists onto local roads, again putting lives at risk, particularly schoolchildren. Would you agree to visit the A483 and to meet with community leaders, and can you outline what progress has been made in the past year on work to improve junction 1 on the A483?”

The Minister said: “The proposals that have been put forward by the local council for junction one would involve a large remodelling of the junction, which would be carbon intensive and would increase road capacity. So, this is relevant to the recommendations we’re anticipating from the roads review about future road schemes.

“There’s always a case for individual schemes. The cumulative impact of that is to add to traffic volumes. So, we do need to think very carefully. That said, where there are traffic problems there need to be solutions, and one of the themes in the roads review is how future roads can be made compliant with existing policies on climate change, transport, and planning.

“So, when we produce the results, in the areas where we accept the recommendations of the review not to go ahead with a road, we will want to work with the local authority and other partners to see what else can be done in that case. I’m not able to pre announce what’s decided – largely because we haven’t yet decided – but we’ll be updating Members in the coming weeks on the next steps.”

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