Posted: Thu 27th Jan 2022

MP & MS speak out in parliaments over Newbridge funding – First Minister says he is “not familiar” with issue

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jan 27th, 2022

A North Wales Member of the Senedd has called on the Welsh Government to urgently allocate funding to repair two storm damaged stretches of road – one of which is in Wrexham – with the issue of Newbridge also being aired in the House of Commons.

The B5605 in Newbridge has remained close since 20 January 2021 after a day of torrential rain caused flash flooding and widespread disruption throughout the county borough.

12 months on from Storm Christoph which caused a landslide on a stretch of the B5605 and the road remains closed off to drivers.

Investigation work has recently been carried out to assess the extent of the repairs required.

Last week during a meeting Wrexham councillors were told that the “embankment has slipped all the way into the river, right the way to the riverbank at the bottom from 30 to 50 feet up to the road” by the local authority’s chief environment officer.

During the same meeting deputy leader of Wrexham Council said he had been given assurances that money to pay for it would be forthcoming once a bid is made, with a long awaited report due any day now.

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes took the opportunity in Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday to note the issue, amid a question to PM Johnson, “In Clwyd South, the Welsh Government have been dragging their feet on urgent repairs to the Newbridge Road, while in contrast the Prime Minister and his Government have delivered record levelling-up fund investment of £13.3 million along the Dee Valley, from the Trevor basin to Llangollen and Chirk, and on to Corwen.

“Will the Prime Minister comment on how the next phase of the levelling-up fund will bring hope and prosperity to other communities right across our proud Union of the United Kingdom?”

The Prime Minister replied:”I thank my hon. Friend very much, and what pleasure it gives me to address the Member for Clwyd South, where I tried unsuccessfully so many years ago. I am delighted that a Conservative Government are now investing so massively in levelling up in Clwyd South and across the whole of Wales.”

Speaking later, Simon Baynes MP said, “I was very pleased to highlight the issue of the urgently needed Newbridge Road repairs and the Levelling Up Fund investment of £13.3m in Clwyd South. I recently visited the landslip on the Newbridge Road where I saw first-hand the damage that has been caused on the road and where I used the opportunity to call on the Welsh Government to urgently conduct essential repairs. It is astonishing that the Welsh Government has taken so long – almost a year – to react and there can be no further delays on their part in making sure these repairs are done as fast as possible.”

The issue was also raised in the Senedd earlier this week with Llyr Gruffydd, North Wales MS, questioning First Minister Mark Drakeford on the support the Welsh Government provides to prevent flood damage resulting from climate change in communities across the region.

He added: “Of course, one frustration is that it takes so long, very often, to deal with repairing infrastructure. In the meantime, the damage can become worse, and the costs can increase.

“I’m thinking of examples such as the B5605 in Newbridge near Wrexham. It’s over a year now since the damage was done there.

“And Llannerch bridge in Trefnant, Denbighshire, where it’s been a year since the damage occurred to the bridge there.

“In both cases, local residents, when they used to be able to complete short journeys, now have to take very long journeys because the infrastructure’s been lost, and that brings a cost in terms of the carbon footprint too.

“So, can I make a request that the Government looks urgently and favourably at requests from local authorities for investment to restore those two examples of infrastructure lost as a result of flood damage and climate change, because the delays mean not only that the work will be more expensive in financial terms, but that there is a higher cost in terms of climate change too?”

The first minister said he was “not familiar with the example referred to in Wrexham” and additional funding has been made available to councils.

He said: “One of the reasons why we have provided more revenue in the system is to help local authorities to prepare bids for funding to carry out work where that work is necessary.

“And we recognise the fact that local authorities have had difficulty in bringing everything together and submitting their bids to us.

“For example, I’m not familiar with the example that Llyr Gruffydd referred to in Wrexham, but I am familiar with Llannerch bridge, and, at the moment, we haven’t received a bid from the local council there.

“So, what we have done is not only increase capital funding to carry out that work, but we’ve also provided revenue to help local authorities and others to prepare for that work, to put their bids together so they can be submitted to us, and in so doing, to accelerate the process that we have.”

 



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