The A483 Wrexham bypass could see some junction improvements in the future, as a study has found they are ‘at capacity’.
The study was undertaken this year by Capita that assessed the strategic road network in and around Wrexham town, with specific focus on Junctions 3-6 on the A483. While focusing on the existing capacity it also considered associated levels of investment required to support the projected growth of Wrexham.
For reference Junction 3 of the A483 is Rhostyllen turn off, 4 is Ruthin Road, 5 is the B&Q / Mold Road junction and 6 is Gresford.
It will not be a shock to readers or motorists that the study ‘confirmed that the junctions are experiencing increasing capacity problems’, with two junctions in particular being seen as ‘at capacity’. What have been described as ‘high level interventions’ have been identified to help with the problems, which could involve widening and remodelling junctions.
Lead Member for Place, Environment & Transport Cllr David Bithell used the new Industrial Estate link road as an example of how new and improved roads could enable new opportunities. He said: “The major junctions on the A483 are at capacity and when we are looking to bring businesses into Wrexham the link roads are there to support them and are key for growth.”
As with most things it comes down to money, and the proposed ‘interventions’ involve ‘substantial capital investment in new highway infrastructure’.
The details have emerged as the ‘Wrexham Connected’ strategy document has been published by Wrexham Council, which is described as a ‘clear vision for the future of travel planning, recognising the need for all future infrastructure as well as technological, operational and behavioural measures that need to be planned and delivered in an integrated way’.
The report to Councillors notes ‘as highways authority for Trunk Roads, it is the Welsh Government’s responsibility to manage this network and consider the demands for infrastructure improvements’.
On this point Wrexham Council Leader Mark Pritchard was scathing over Welsh Government funding, saying North Wales and Wrexham does not get its fair share of money.
Cllr Pritchard said: “It is all about money. Wrexham Council does not have the money to invest in this, and I am looking forward to discussing it with the new (Welsh Government) Ministers.
“There is a lot of money spent every year on infrastructure in South Wales and we want the same in Wrexham. Wrexham is the capital and gateway of North Wales, we have grown and we have the capacity to grow further, but we need to have the money spent on our infrastructure to do so.
“In the past I feel we have not had the investment that South Wales has had, we are not having our fair share.”
Speaking of Welsh Government he added” “They treat North Wales as a second class citizen. We pick up the crumbs in North Wales. I understand Cardiff is the capital, but it should not be at the expense of North Wales. We are being left behind because senior politicians are not funding growth in North Wales, I don’t want more, just the same.”
‘Aspiration’ areas are not limited to the bypass with a 30 minute service to Bidston, Chester and Shrewsbury desired among other railways advances, and a recognition that cycling in and around town has stalled after initial investment a decade ago. As well as looking to encourage more cycling, the documents look to tie in making the area safer and more inviting for people to walk rather than use vehicles.
The ‘Wrexham Connected’ document also refers to several other studies and areas of research that have been considered, including a currently unseen ‘Rossett Park and Ride study’, Wrexham Council staff travel surveys and a ‘Wrexham General transport interchange study’.
Councillors are being asked to “approve ‘Wrexham Connected’ as a basis for our approach to
providing a long term sustainable travel strategy for the County Borough.”
Although on the public report linked to above has the ‘Wrexham Connected’ document referred to and referenced on the Council’s intranet, Cllr Bithell did say it was a public document and after requesting it you can find it here as a 14meg PDF.