Oswestry roadworks traffic chaos re-ignites village bypass calls
Major tailbacks and traffic chaos have re-ignited calls for the construction of a long-awaited bypass Shropshire's border with Wales.
Roadworks at the Maesbury Road junction on the A483 on the outskirts of Oswestry are set to last for five months, but are already leading to significant delays for drivers.
Motorists are also faced with two other sets of traffic lights between Oswestry and Llanymynech.
Some drivers have reported taking an hour to travel between the two, and the current situation has sparked fresh calls for a bypass to be built in Llanymynech.
The village sits on the main route from north west England and the Midlands into Montgomeryshire and down into south Wales.
Dilys Gaskell, chair of Llanynynech and Pant Parish Council has been a long-time campaigner for a bypass, ever since the idea was launched in 1999.
Almost 20 years on, campaigners are still waiting for what they call a much needed bypass to be introduced, and she feels now is Llanymynech's turn.
She said: "They have found money to do the Maesbury Road junction, which needs doing to become safer, and they found however many million to do Mile End for a second time.
"Surely it is our turn in Llanymynech, we have been calling for it since 1999, and will continue to call for it.
"Currently there are four sets of lights on the way to Oswestry, so it isn't a great time at all to be a driver going on that route."
The current roadworks include traffic lights at Llynclys cross roads, further lights towards Oswestry to fix a drain, and other lights at the Maesbury Road works.
Ben Gillham, from Pant, has been leaving early to get to a new job in Wrexham, but has found himself sitting in long queues and like many others has become frustrated with the delays.
He said: "It's been taking me almost an hour and a half to get to Wrexham, which is usually just under 40 minutes.
"It seems that not much work is being done. So many people used that road every day, and it is a nightmare that the work is all being done at once."
Fresh hopes were given to bypass campaigners in December, when MP Owen Paterson insisted money would be available for a project of this sort from a £1 billion annual fund.
Councillor Gaskill believes the latest traffic chaos shows why the bypass is needed.
She said: "It is the main road from Shropshire into Wales, and coming from Shrewsbury up to Oswestry it is all larger roads, so it must be our time now for something to be done."