A CALL to tidy up a gateway to Wales has been made amid fears of discouraging investors.
The A494 dual carriageway into Flintshire from Ellesmere Port has been branded an “eyesore”.
Symbols of the English Lion and Welsh Dragon are so overgrown as to be barely recognisable, according to Flintshire councillor David Williams.
“I travel to work in Ellesmere Port daily and I have thought what a mess it looks for quite a while,” said the teacher from Penyffordd.
“Given the drive to encourage tourism and new business to the area, people with responsibilities in Flintshire Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council should have been aware of the state of the area and done something a long time ago."
“National and international business people are following this route regularly from Manchester and Liverpool airports to visit Deeside and Flintshire, and the impression they must get on entering Wales must be quite negative.
“The mess, in particular from the dragon and lion to the Ellesmere turn-off, really is an eyesore. The fact that the dragon and lion have not been maintained for nearly two years in my opinion is a disgrace, and the stretch on the Welsh side is not much better.”
He said concerns had been raised by members of the public over the impression the lack of maintenance could give to prospective investors in the new business and industrial sites linked to the Deeside Industrial Estate.
He added: “Responsibility over who should maintain these areas is quite vague with the cross-border situation.
“However, both the English and Welsh sides worked exceptionally well together to complete the road improvement a few years ago, with very little inconvenience caused to motorist, so why the two authorities are not still working together to follow up this good work with a maintenance agreement is very disappointing.”
The Welsh Government said the dragon and lion landmarks were located on the English side of the border and therefore the responsibility lay with the Highways Agency and the UK Government.
And a spokesman for the Highways Agency added: “The Highways Agency remains focused on maintaining the motorway and trunk road network in good condition, with the safety of road users and roadworkers our absolute priority rather than grass cutting for aesthetic purposes.
“However, we are aware of concerns about the gateway symbol on the A494 looking overgrown and we are intending to address this issue.
“We are currently looking at access to the marker and will be scheduling dates to cut the grass around it in the near future.”