Thursday, August 27, 2009

A By-pass for Newtown.

I recall being in a meeting with a Welsh Office Minister when I was Chairman of the Development Board for Rural Wales almost 20 years ago. Under discussion was a by-pass for Newtown, in Montgomeryshire. I regarded it as a by-pass for Mid Wales. At the time the cost was being talked of as around £15 million. I reckoned that Mid Wales would benefit more from the investment of that sum of money into a by-pass than into the factory building which constituted most of my organisation's investment. Improving access to a larger, more populous market would increase the confidence of the private sector to invest in the region. We reckoned it could be up to 10 years before the Newtown By-pass became a reality. 10 years out already.

Today, 20 years on, the Assembly Government has published options along which a new Newtown By-pass would be constructed. OK, its only one step forward, but its an important step. My view is that this by-pass would be hugely important to promotion of the economy of the part of Wales where I've spent so much of my life trying to create new business. When I learn of new really important announcements which signal greater opportunity for business in Rural Wales, it fills me with excitement.

Today's publication proposes three main options with another three variations. All of them are to the South of the town, and all follow the same route for most of their length. The differences apply only to the Western end. The most expensive is over £50 million, while others options are getting on for £10 million less. The consultation period lasts until November. I hope that the town can agree on a preferred route quickly, and that we can translate today's initial proposals into reality without much further delay.

If we can move quickly to an early date for delivery of the By-pass, Montgomeryshire's attitude to the National Assembly will be transformed. Since it was created, Mid Wales has become the forgotten part of Wales. Its almost as if Mid Wales doesn't exist. Perhaps the decision to abandon the M4 relief road (cost estimated to be one billion) has enabled the Assembly Government to consider schemes elsewhere in Wales - and a good thing too. Perhaps the people of Montgomeryshire will, at long last, discover a reason to applaud the creation of a National Assembly.

16 comments:

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

I will definitely have a look at these proposals. I sincerely hope that no ones cherished home will have to be demolished for this project.

James said...

Ah, Tories and their love of road-building. I'd be curious to see a case made for it, other than the usual bypass lies about congested town centres.

Glyn Davies said...

Roman - The proposed routes are largely along the route that has been protected for decades, so there should not be many properties in the way, if any.

James - The case being made by the Assembly Governemnt for the proposals are related to town centre congestion, but my support is more to do with improving access to the whole of Mid wales. O do not hav eany of the reports commissioned in the 80s and 90s to hand, but the delays at Newtown, (and perception of delays) was a significant impediment to new business moving into Mid wales.

Anonymous said...

The plans are long overdue, but don't be fooled into thinking the Assembly want to help Montgomeryshire, it is only a ploy to get more windfarms built in our beautiful countryside.

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - The problem is more getting the power out than getting the turbines in!!

Anonymous said...

I will believe it when I see it

Alison said...

Are the plans / consultation available online? If not, why not?

Glyn Davies said...

Alison - Surely are. I had them emailed to me, (from a media source) and have forwarded them to whoever has asked me for them. They will be available for inspection at Newtown Library anf County Hall from 1st Septembber.

Anonymous said...

Hi Glyn - when are you planning on attending the public meetings? would be great to speak to you and hear more of your views on this

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - Unfortunately, I cannot attend the exhibition. I am on holiday for a few days. I did look through the plans at Newtown Library yesterday. Because of my longbterm interest in this development, I will try to arrange a meeting with the exhibition team when I'm home. My first impression is that the 'Orange Route' is the best - but also the most expensive.

Anonymous said...

Yes the orange route - lets get it done.
Dolfor resident

Abi said...

Orange route a big no-no for me - it couldn't be closer to my house! Plus, a friend had a meeting with someone in the Assembly and they said it would 'flyover' the Mochdre Lane. OK, so there are less of us living out there on that side of town, but it's going to make a huge difference to our beautiful peaceful countryside.

James said...

Ah, but when did the Conservatives really care about the countryside?

Have a chat to the folks around Newbury if you're not sure.

Anonymous said...

£50m by-pass for Porthmadog and they're still deliberating on a by-pass for Newtown?

http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/09/23/71798/five-in-race-for-50m-welsh-bypass-job.html

It should be a case of when the favoured and more expensive 'orange' route will be built, not if.

pyd said...

I was unable to get to see the proposals but cannot find any web site that shows the routes in detail. Not mech of a consultation if you can't see the proposals!

I am particularly interested in the Kerry Road connection (or lack of). It seems from the County Times that there will be a bridge! Does this mean that there will be no connection to or from the Kerry Road?

Anybody found any sites with good plans?

Chris said...

Blantently the plans are going to all be rejected, as mod cons like Sat Navs will still take you through the town, look on any map, and if you go from by Abermule, across through Highgate/Cefn Mawr area and merge with the B4568 by aberhafesp and bridge over to the A470. Stand up against the current plans, and lets keep Newtown active, and keep unwanted traffic out.