"We need less talk and more action!"

That was the word on the street from Cefn Mawr, where residents are fed up of waiting for Newbridge Road to be repaired and reopened following a landslide six months ago.

The road was closed due to a landslide during Storm Christoph in January.

Residents have had their say after it was revealed it may be as late as 2022 or even 2023 before the repairs are made and the road reopened.

In the meantime, some people are having to make lengthy diversions to get to work or school or to do their shopping.

Now North Wales Senedd Member Llyr Gruffydd has called on the Welsh Government to repair the road as soon as possible, saying that flood relief funding wasn't available since it wouldn't protect properties.

He also said he'd seen a letter from climate minister Julie James which stated that the road repairs pot for Wales was now empty, with no more money available until after April 2022.

The road closure has meant that residents and visitors to the area alike have had to take a detour, with the alternative route via the A483 often clogged up with traffic.

Over in the Nightingale House Hospice charity shop in Cefn Mawr, regular customer Janet Price didn't mince her words as she was keen to see the problem resolved as quickly as possible.

Janet, from Summerhill, said: "We need less talk and more action! This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and so I can't understand why there's no sense of urgency to fix it. We need tourism here in North Wales."

Shop assistant Barbara Coleman, who lives in Cefn Mawr, said she had heard many people complaining about the ongoing road closure.

She added: "Lots of people have talked about how much of an inconvenience this is, as this is a popular route to Chirk and Oswestry. I should think bus drivers are a bit fed up with it too. They have to go all the way around all the time."

Michelle Garrett from Acrefair added: "It's not good, is it? The bypass is very full at the moment. People normally use the Newbridge Road to try to miss the bypass. I'm a member of Lion Quays and go swimming there a lot and I have to go back on myself to go down that way now.

"It puts at least 10 minutes on my journey, and that's if the traffic is alright. The traffic can be horrendous on that bypass."

Impacted on business

Peter Roberts, who runs The Little Kitchen cafe in Cefn Mawr, said the closure had impacted on his business.

He said: "There's people that live on that road and because of what happened they have to go all the way round to get here. One customer comes in two or three times a week. He said he'd come in more were it not for the travelling."

Ann Davies from Ruabon called on the Welsh Government to sort the problem out, saying: "We're now hearing that we won't be able to have funding for this until after April 2022. This is ridiculous. The road has been out of service for the past six months."

Over on the other side of the road closure, in Pentre, Harry Jones from Dee Valley Tyres said it had hit his business hard.

He said: "It's really impacted on us. People aren't going to come all the way around there if they can go straight to Wrexham.

"I've noticed a sharp drop in customers coming in since the road closed. They need to get their act together and repair it."

Local councillor Derek Wright said: "Newbridge Road is a major artery for this community and if it's going to be closed for another two years it's going to be devastating. For people who have to go to Chirk, it's terrible. They need to find the money as soon as possible.

"I know money is tight and we've been going through a pandemic but this community depends on that road."

"It's dangerous"

Meanwhile, on The Leader Facebook page, more residents had their say.

Ceri Jane Garrett said: "They can't just leave it, it's wrong. If it was in South Wales or somewhere like that it would probably be done by now. I feel for residents along there and it's dangerous as it's still moving."

Jayne Lloyd commented: "£10 extra fuel per week having to go the long way to work from Cefn to Oswestry."

Charlotte Meakin said: "Living here and dealing with the hostility we get off people daily because it's closed, constantly having to retrieve barriers thrown over the wall, driven over or kicked aside or you know dealing with people using the turn around as a public toilet is pretty grim. I get it's frustrating but we are people too, please be kind."

And John Jones said: "Having a small business on Park Road this is affecting us massively. It was bad enough when covid hit but not having this road open is doing just as much damage."

'Clearly not sustainable'

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes said: "In the event of closures on the trunk road, whether for planned works or emergencies, alternative routes are diverted via Llangollen – a 15 mile diversion – and this is clearly not sustainable. Particularly when emergency vehicles are taken into account, this is unacceptable.

"I’m calling on Welsh Government Ministers to step up and take action on an issue that is seriously affecting residents in our part of Wales. I’m concerned that Ministers in Cardiff Bay are turning a blind eye to the damage to our communities in Clwyd South caused by flooding. I’m willing to work with Welsh Government to ensure Wrexham Council receives the funding support they need to repair our damaged infrastructure.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "Wrexham Council’s application to the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Programme for this project was unsuccessful as the programme was set up to fund repairs to damaged flood assets which benefit properties only. The guidance provided clearly states 'Works which only benefits highways will not be eligible'.

“We are now working with Wrexham Council to find another means of funding the project.”

The spokesperson added: "£285,000 has been provided from the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Programme to Wrexham County Council for other post storms repairs associated with damaged flood assets benefitting properties."

Cllr David Bithell, lead member for environment and transport and deputy leader of Wrexham Council, said: “We applied for funding following Storm Christoph as requested by Welsh Government. This funding was prioritised for internal flooding schemes, in this case, there was no internal flooding only major infrastructure damage. At the time we were following the guidance supplied from Welsh Government to local authorities.

“I have written to the Minister for Climate Change and local MP and MS who are all supportive and have lobbied Welsh Government. We continue to work with officials to seek transport related funding to re-open the road and have carried out extensive geotechnical surveys of the area.”