Pant-Llanymynech bypass funding announcement welcomed
Shropshire Council has welcomed the announcement in yesterday’s Budget of funding to develop the Pant-Llanymynech Bypass scheme, which has been under consideration and review for over 20 years.
The scheme proposes a road bypass of the two villages on the A483 between Welshpool and Oswestry.
Shropshire Council will now work at speed with its partners to use the allocated funding for the scheme to further develop the possible bypass alignment and design matters, in order to deliver a compelling Outline Business Case to Government in due course.
Dependant on future funding allocations and a fully resolved and agreed design, Shropshire Council would welcome the future delivery of this key enhancement to the cross border road network.
Shropshire Council has worked in partnership with Welsh Government and Midlands Connect for several years to promote the proposed bypass.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“This is very welcome news. Transport barriers limit connectivity and growth in the area, contributing to lengthy journey times, significant safety concerns for network users and a negative impact on the wellbeing of both urban and rural Cross-Border communities. Reducing congestion, journey times and time spent in slow or stop-start traffic will also reduce carbon emissions, and this supports our drive to improve air quality and road safety.”
In 2018 Shropshire Council and Owen Paterson MP convened The Cross-Border Transport Study Group in partnership with the Department for Transport, Welsh Government, Midlands Connect, Highways England, The Marches LEP and the Growing Mid Wales Partnership. The resulting Cross-Border Strategy (published in 2020) brought these partners together to investigate the potential to improve connections between Wales and Shropshire.
The Strategy concludes that there is significant opportunity to support inclusive, rebalanced economic growth in Mid Wales and Shropshire. Some 13 interventions are highlighted in the Strategy across a range of modes that target the Cross-Border area’s transport challenges and opportunities. They consider a range of modes, support community safety and well-being as well as inclusive and rebalanced economic growth.
There are several strategic themes that highlight the need for investment in Mid Wales and Shropshire:
▪ Improving safety – Safety is a key concern in the Cross-Border area. Collisions also cause road closures and lengthy diversion routes, leading to journey time reliability issues as a result of poor network resilience.
▪ Challenging the area’s bespoke transport barriers – Journey time and reliability on the highway network is exacerbated by long sections of hilly and winding single carriageway as a result of the steep topography of the area, and flooding events whereby roads and railway lines become inaccessible often resulting in extended journeys via diversion routes. High proportions of slow-moving heavy goods and agricultural vehicles, with limited overtaking opportunities, further contribute to these issues.
▪ Supporting the Cross-Border economy – The Strategy provides opportunity to help balance the economy and promote inclusive growth. In 2016 Shropshire, Wrexham and Powys contributed over £10 billion Gross Value Added (GVA), with the potential for the Cross-Border area to prosper and better connect economic areas going forward.
▪ Supporting future growth –Regeneration and growth areas in the Mid Wales, Shropshire and the wider Marches area need to be supported by a sustainable, efficient transport network to unlock their full potential and support cohesive communities. Integral to this is air quality management, future technology including digital connectivity and consideration of behaviour changes in society.
▪ Improving transport and connectivity – A sustainable, informed transport network in the Cross-Border study area is critical to providing strategic connections between England and Wales. Supporting improvements in both journey time and journey time reliability for all modes, including freight and public transport, is important to promote the area’s different economies and the wellbeing of communities.