Owen Paterson met Minister of State for Transport, John Hayes MP, yesterday to discuss what the Government can do to address the inadequate state of the A5. They had a very positive discussion and the Minister confirmed that there is to be a High Level Study of the A5 corridor which will report in 6 months’ time. This could lead on to further analysis and work. Owen has been campaigning for the A5/A483 between Shrewsbury and Ruabon to be made into a dual carriageway since he was elected in 1997 and made it the subject of his first Adjournment Debate.
The Minister confirmed that, in discussions with Edwina Hart, his counterpart in the Welsh Assembly Government, there would be a Cross Border Road Forum which would look at this issue as well as the vexed issue of the Pant/Llanymynech bypass, the UK’s longest running bypass campaign. The problem with the bypass proposal is that 90% of the road is in England with the misery caused by heavy traffic borne by constituents in North Shropshire but the economic benefit is almost entirely Welsh as it lies on the main route between Wrexham and Swansea.
The stretch of the A5 running North from Shrewsbury, through North Shropshire, linking up to the A483 into North Wales is the last stretch of TEN status road running between Felixstowe and Holyhead which has not been dualled. It is totally inadequate for the volume of traffic travelling from Ireland and the industrial areas of North East Wales. It is a cause of frequent congestion.
Owen said “I was extremely pleased that John Hayes was able to confirm that a High Level Study of the A5 corridor would take place. This could be the breakthrough that we need to see this issue resolved once and for all. Tragically, deaths and injuries affect my constituents disproportionately and it is imperative that this road is brought up to modern standards.”