Shropshire Star

MPs united in calling for Shropshire border road improvements

Politicians from both sides of the Shropshire/Wales border have launched a campaign to see trunk roads improved in the region.

Round-table talks over cross-border road improvements

The A5 north of Shropshire and into north Wales could benefit if pledges by the Welsh and UK government to work together to improve transport links and boost economic growth bear fruit.

It could also see a Pant/Llanymynech bypass finally back on the agenda.

Round-table talks between the region's MPs and the Welsh Minister for Transport, Ken Skates, were heralded a success today by north Shropshire MP Owen Paterson.

He is now determined to press for talks with transport minister Grant Shapps.

"The MPs representing communities all along the A483 - Simon Baynes, myself and Craig Williams along with Welsh Assembly member, Russell George, had a very constructive meeting," he said.

"The Welsh government is now very much behind the view that cross border transport links should be jointly funded to ensure economic growth in both Shropshire and in Wales," he said.

"I am seeking urgent talks with Grant Shapps to ensure we have a commitment from the UK government on this.

"At the moment we don't have routes in place for either the Pant-Llanymynech Bypass or any A5 improvements.

Transport links are a major part of the proposed Marches growth deal - an economic strategy for the border.

Mr Paterson said: "The Pant/Llanymynech bypass was part of the Welsh Conservative manifesto."

Welsh assembly member for Montgomeryshire, Russell Grant, said that stronger cross-border collaboration would provide a major boost for communities in Montgomeryshire that were already part of a dynamic economic cluster with communities across Shropshire.

“The local campaign for a Pant/Llanymynech bypass has been rumbling on for decades and the lack of progress is creating significant concern for residents, preventing tourists from visiting and spending their money in Mid Wales, and affecting local Mid Wales businesses who rely on exporting their goods across the border.

"I'm delighted that it is now being given the attention it deserves."

"Many people live, work and access public services on different sides of the Welsh-England Border but our governance arrangements do not incentivise improving those links.

A long-term solution can only go ahead if the UK and Welsh Governments work together on this crucial cross-border scheme and I welcome these proposals for investment in our cross border infrastructure."