At the beginning of August, four vehicles were involved in a collision on the A5 at Montford Bridge.
Although those involved in that collision escaped without serious harm, a woman is being treated for life-changing injuries after a crash on the A5 near Chirk this week.
There have been too many fatal, serious and slight casualties. 48 people have died in accidents along the A5. There have been a further 312 serious injuries and 1,090 people have been injured in crashes since 1991. Each death is tragic and each casualty carries a cost; it has been estimated that this has cost almost £170 million to the public purse. Every time the road is closed due to accidents it causes huge inconvenience, especially at busy times of the year and during holiday periods.
Up to 10% of traffic along the A5 consists of Heavy Goods Vehicles. The A5 must be made fit for today’s traffic flows. It must be dualled.
Convoys of lorries carrying huge sections of wind turbines have been crossing the Welsh border this summer, showing how totally inappropriate the A483 through Pant and Llanymynech is. We do need eventually to get a Pant and Llanymynech bypass built. I had a very good meeting with Andrew Jones in May, the then roads minister, who took the time to visit the constituency and talked to a variety of interested parties. Now he has been replaced by John Hayes. We have already had a meeting and we are organising a further visit so he may see these roads himself.
I urge all my constituents to make a submission for dualling the A5 by clicking ‘line’ feedback on the highways website http://www.highways.gov.uk/route-strategies/
Continuing with local transport, rail users are becoming increasingly exasperated with packed trains. All of us have been on trains where there is standing room only.
Extending the current London service will take some pressure off these trains. At present London trains stand idle in the station having arrived at Shrewsbury, with their engines running for hours, before making the trip back down to London.
The InterCity West Coast franchise is up for tender this year and the consultation closed this month. I made it clear to Patrick McLoughlin, the outgoing Transport Secretary, that it is essential that all companies tendering for this are required to give proposals for trains to continue onto Gobowen, Wrexham and Chester. He gave me good advice on this and following that meeting neighbouring MPs Ian Lucas, Glyn Davies, Susan Elan Jones and I all signed a joint letter to him.
When Chris Grayling took over as Transport Secretary I had a brief meeting with him to ensure that the tender does include the extension of the route. Now we have all written to him as well.