The Welsh Government will shortly begin consulting on major improvements to one of North Wales’ busiest sections of road, Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates has announced.
Consultation on the Deeside Corridor project will begin on the 13 March and last 12 weeks. The project will look to address congestion and safety issues between Queensferry and Northop and gather views on two proposed options, both of which would represent an investment of over £200 million.
One option is a package of improvements on the existing A55/A494, while the second would see a series of improvements over Flintshire Bridge along the A548 and a new link to the A55 at Northop.
Economy Secretary Ken Skates said, “The issues on this stretch of road are well documented and I’m delighted we are taking decisive action to tackle the problem.
“The road is consistently carrying more traffic than it was designed to do and this is causing regular congestions issues. There is clear need for the road to be upgraded and brought up to modern standards.
“Both options in this consultation will deliver a safer, more sustainable, better connected road, with improved capacity, reliability and journey times.
“We must achieve all of this whilst keeping the impact on local residents, the landscape, air quality, biodiversity and pollution, to a minimum.”
But at the other end of Wales there is mounting anger over the continuation of Cleddau Bridge tolls when those for using the Severn Crossings look like dramatically falling inside two years.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Secretary for Economy and Transport, Russell George, has criticised the Welsh Labour Government over its hypocrisy on bridge tolls – after Ken Skates refused to explain why he won’t take any action to remove tolls on the Cleddau Bridge.
While responding to an urgent question today in the National Assembly for Wales, Mr Skates made clear his desire to see the tolls abolished on the Severn Bridge – but couldn’t answer why he has failed to take similar action in Pembrokeshire.
Mr George, said in a statement, “It’s a bit rich of the Welsh Labour Government to grumble about the Severn Bridge tolls when they’ve done nothing to tackle the one toll it could scrap immediately – and hardworking people across Pembrokeshire will rightly question why the Cleddau Bridge is not afforded the same focus and status.
“Instead of directing time and energy into a matter they cannot control, perhaps they should address the issue on a bridge they do control – and scrap the tolls on Cleddau Bridge tomorrow and improve the lives of those in West Wales.
“The decision to cut the Severn Bridge tolls by the UK Conservative Government is a huge boost to motorists – and while there’s no doubt we’d all like to see the abolition of tolls in the future – what is much more important, however, is having a Welsh Government focusing its energy on decisions it has power over and can implement immediately.”