Posted: Mon 22nd Apr 2024

Welsh Government will ‘look again’ at A483 junctions upgrades after scrapping plan last year for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

The A483 junction improvements could still happen, with the new Cabinet Secretary Transport looking again at a decision to scrap the plans.

The bypass upgrades would have seen Junctions 3 to 6 improved in a multi million pound scheme, however it was scrapped a year ago as part of wider ‘roads review’.

The scheme would have had two phases, one would have seen Junction 4 (Ruthin Road) totally reworked with a new ‘large diameter roundabout junction’ about half a mile south of the current junction.

Junctions 3,5 and 6 would have seen changes – extra lanes, better traffic lights and the like. It was estimated the works would have cost £53m.

Since that decision Vaughan Gething has taken over the role of First Minister with former Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters has moved to the backbenches.

Clwyd South MS Ken Skates has now taken on the role of Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport.

Last week the Senedd, Ken Skates MS said, “We will continue to build new roads, whether that’s to address localised congestion, pinch points and poor air quality, to improve safety, or, for that matter, to adapt our road network to the kind of extreme weather that we’re now seeing here in Wales with alarming regularity. We will build new roads.”

“But, above all, we will build better than before. We will do so in order to meet the obligations that the last Government rightly introduced to address the climate crisis.

“We’ll build better than before by utilising new construction techniques being pioneered internationally that reduce embedded carbon, by reducing the impact on ancient woodland, as we’re now seeing being implemented in Llanharan.

“And we’ll also do so through designing in bus priority routes for better walking links from the outset of our designs.”

Following on with those comments, caught up with Ken Skates and asked what that would mean for the situation locally. Back in 2018 it had been announced there was funding for congestion improvements, more recently a a long option assessment saw ‘preferred routes’ published after consultations took place. However, just over a year ago it was announced the upgrade plan was scrapped.

We asked if the new approach would include relooking at the A483 junction plans.

Skates replied, “Absolutely. The Roads Review report that was produced, and then the response by government, set out a series of tests for new roads and road improvements to be judged against.

“I want to look at whether those tests stand up in practice on the ground and whether they truly reflect the world of today and the world of tomorrow.

“Insofar as there’s huge advances being made in terms of carbon capture infrastructure and road infrastructure around the world.

“The construction sector is moving towards net zero itself. We’ve got the advent of electric cars and hydrogen vehicles as well. So I just want to make sure that we are designing policy and designing criteria that is based on emerging technology techniques and construction works.

Noting he could only talk about projects outside his constituency, he confirmed: “We’ll be looking at those projects that are in the what’s called the National Transport Delivery Plan, including the junctions on the A483.

“I want to make sure that we resolve congestion on local roads and on the trunk roads”.


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