Residents vow to fight plans for six-lane highway

Published date: 14 November 2012 |
Published by: Andrew Boyd
Read more articles by Andrew Boyd

The Aston Hill campaigners during their last fight 

The A494 

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CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight once more against controversial plans for a “super highway”.

Members of the ‘Aston Hill Says No!’ group are up in arms at proposals being revived for the A494 to be widened between Queensferry and Ewloe.

Just four years after original plans to widen part of the A494 were thrown out following a long-running battle, the issue is back on the agenda.

An ambitious multi-million pound scheme to overhaul the region’s transport network scheme could include a section of the A494 being expanded to three lanes in each direction.

Fears have been sounded for the health of children and pensioners who live near the A494 if the plans come to fruition.

Aston Hill Says No! spokesman Judith Hough, a member of Hawarden Community Council, said the campaign group is preparing to rally again. If it comes to it then once more we will fight this all the way,” she said.

“This morning I have been in contact with a lot of concerned people. There is a lot of dissent already about it. We are ready to fight this again.”

Cllr Hough said discussions would be taking place about what steps the group would take.

“We are keeping our finger on the pulse,” she added.

“We can’t allow this to happen. I would have concerns about the noise pollution for people who live nearby.

“Our children are our future and I fear for their health if the A494 is widened.

“I am also very concerned for the health of pensioners who live close to the A494.”

Cllr Hough said she would be far more supportive of proposals for a new two-lane dual carriageway connecting the A55 at Northop and the A548 at Kelsterton, believing that would carry wider benefits for Flintshire.

Paul Davies, of the Ewloe Green Action Group which was also involved in fighting the previous plans, said he too would favour the Northop and Kelsterton link being looked at rather than an A494 expansion.

The original A494 plan, dubbed the “North Wales motorway”, was to widen a 2.5 mile stretch to four lanes uphill and three lanes downhill.

It was axed by then transport minister Ieuan Wyn Jones in March 2008 following a lengthy battle and public inquiry, much to the delight of campaigners.

Revised plans are now back on the table as part of transport chiefs’ plans to overhaul the road and rail network in North East Wales.

Other proposals include extending the A55 from Ewloe to Northop to three lanes in each direction, as well as improving rail links and increasing the number of train stations.

The proposals were included in the North East Wales Area Based Transport Study and the A55/A494 Study, published on Monday.

Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant, who is also Welsh transport minister, said: “Major proposals were put forward in 2006 and were rejected by local people and a public inquiry.

“We’ve now had a major rethink and fully taken into account local feelings and now want to move forward with a genuine consultation on a scheme aimed at improving transport conditions both locally and for the benefit of the whole of North Wales.”

Consultation will now begin with councils and the public with a view to developing the study options in more detail.

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  1. Posted by: stapler12 at 10:15 on 14 November 2012 Report

    Stop giving this tiny group of people such promotion. It makes it seem like they represent locals, when they do not and are stuck in the past NIMBYists

  2. Posted by: polohole at 10:46 on 14 November 2012 Report

    Plus, a new road surface might actually make it QUIETER for residents. It's a nightmare pulling on at Aston Hill on either side during rush hour, would've thought they'd be campaigning for this, not against it.

  3. Posted by: polohole at 10:47 on 14 November 2012 Report

    This is daft, as a resident of Buckley I've been caught in traffic along that stretch of road at the weekends, it is a main road english people use to travel anywhere along the north coast on bank holidays, widening it would help everyone.

  4. Posted by: Hen ddraig at 11:53 on 14 November 2012 Report

    At last a almost sensible plan. But the A55 will still need a third lane westbound for the hill between Northop and Halkyn.

  5. Posted by: wonderwho at 12:44 on 14 November 2012 Report

    Never mind a re think the man in the street could see the problem from when the 3rd Dee bridge was built a road to no where, stop thinking and take it onto the A55 then see if the Aston Hill needs sorting !!! I bet the re think has cost the taxpayers a mint of money for the so called consultants.

  6. Posted by: CrispyNinja at 13:28 on 14 November 2012 Report

    SHUT UP AND GO AWAY. I hate these people. We need this road sorting out. I can't believe they managed to get it scrapped years ago. Hopefully we'll get some counter protests going on.

  7. Posted by: Rockpile at 17:02 on 14 November 2012 Report

    Let what happened last time be a lesson to us all. A tiny minority stopped progress while the rest of us were dozing. They must not be allowed to inflict the misery of gridlock on thousands of their fellow citizens any longer.

  8. Posted by: Rockpile at 17:06 on 14 November 2012 Report

    Andrew Boyd - for balance, why not show a picture of the A494 gridlocked back to the border, as it is so often on a Friday afternoon, alongside the cute protesters?

  9. Posted by: duffel at 17:13 on 14 November 2012 Report

    Access from the M56 is via a single lane slip road onto the Deeside Park roundabout, which is already very busy, the road through Deeside Park is only two lanes and littered with small roundabouts and then there’s the bridge itself with only two lanes so there is no gain whatsoever as whatever you do to improve access to the bridge it still only has two lanes, this won’t solve the traffic problem it will just move it somewhere else Aston Hill is the only option

  10. Posted by: Quicktypist at 19:04 on 14 November 2012 Report

    The section of dual carriageway as you approach the River Dee from England, where the road suddenly narrows and is blocked by a row of grotty bollards, especially after driving along a wide and modern three-lane expressway, is an embarrassment. Not only is it causing the aforementioned gridlock, but it is likely to put off potential investors into the region. Welcome to Wales!

  11. Posted by: stapler12 at 20:13 on 14 November 2012 Report

    Rockpile, not likely - the leader loves a campaign, even if it's total BS.

  12. Posted by: kevinweston at 20:33 on 14 November 2012 Report

    That's the problem, The Leader likes a head line not a debate.

  13. Posted by: spike at 17:16 on 15 November 2012 Report

    Road improvements on the scale proposed will mean major disruption and delays to the region over several years. It makes more sense to construct a link from Northop to Kelsterton as the first step so that there is an alternative route before any major work is commenced on the A494 or A55. Once the North Wales / North West traffic is taken away along that route they may find the A494 can cope with local County demand.

  14. Posted by: stapler12 at 20:46 on 15 November 2012 Report

    Of course it will, but it's almost impossible to get new routes agreed upon. See the Aberdeen bypass!

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