PROPOSED upgrades to Wrexham's A483 junction will not go ahead, the Welsh Government has confirmed today (February 14).

The future of more than 50 road improvement projects has now become clear after the delayed review commissioned by the Welsh Government was published.

The Welsh Government’s decisions on each of the schemes have also been announced in its National Transport Delivery Plan (NTDP). 

The projects had been paused by the deputy minister for climate change, Lee Waters, when he set up the Welsh Roads Review Panel led by transport expert Dr Lynn Sloman in September 2021 to examine the case for continuing with them.

Improvements to the A483 around Wrexham will be scrapped and a review will be set up to consider an "exemplar" project to reduce car usage.

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The Welsh Government says it will work with Wrexham Council to 'develop multi-modal improvements' in the area.

These will include 'feasibility and investigation of creating an exemplar multi-modal residential and employment development with lower levels of car use, aligned to the future road building tests'. 

Plans for a third Menai crossing between Anglesey and the mainland have been replaced by a review into how to improve congestion and the resilience of the current bridges.

The Welsh Government said it would 'develop options to ensure the resilience of crossing the Menai Strait in a way that supports modal shift, aligned to the future road building tests'. 

Among projects said to be 'progressing' were the A494 Lon Fawr Ruthin/Corwen Road where small scale changes to improve safety at the junction are being made.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the A494 at Aston Hill, the Welsh Government says it will work with Flintshire Council to develop options to 'improve air quality' in the area.

Of the 59 schemes, eight were excluded as out of scope or with insufficient information; two were reviewed early; three were economic development schemes; and the Panel’s recommendations on 46 schemes are set out in the Roads Review Panel’s final report.

The Leader:

PIC: Lee Waters during a previous visit to Wrexham.

Speaking in the Senedd this afternoon, the Welsh Government's deputy minister for climate change, Lee Waters said: "When we published the Wales Transport Strategy two years ago, we committed to start upon a llwybr newydd - a new path.

“The publication of this Roads Review, along with the National Transport Delivery Plan, and our new Roads Policy Statement, represents a major step forward on that journey.

“Let me be very clear at the outset, we will still invest in roads. In fact, we are building new roads as I speak - but we are raising the bar for where new roads are the right response to transport problems. 

“We are also investing in real alternatives, including investment in rail, bus, walking and cycling projects.

“Of course, doing that in an age of austerity is very challenging. Not only are we not getting our share of HS2 investment, but the UK Government is pushing many bus services over a cliff edge, as well as slashing our capital investment budgets.

“Even if we’d wanted to keep progressing all the road schemes in the pipeline we just do not have the money to do so. Our capital budget will be 8% lower next year in real terms as a result of the UK Government’s failure to invest in infrastructure.

“With fewer resources it becomes even more important to prioritise and the Roads Review helps us to do that.”

“Our approach for the last 70 years is not working.

“As the review points out the by-pass that was demanded to relieve congestion often ends up leading to extra traffic, which in time brings further demands for extra lanes, wider junctions and more roads. 

“Round and round we go, emitting more and more carbon as we do it and we will not get to Net Zero unless we stop doing the same thing over and over. 

“When Julie James and I took up our new roles, we made clear that in this decade Wales has to make greater cuts in emissions than we have in the whole of the last three decades combined.

“Greater cuts in the next ten years than the whole of the last 30 - that’s what the science says we need to do if we are to future-proof Wales.

 “The UN General Secretary has warned that unless we act decisively now we face a ‘climate catastrophe’.

“If we are to declare a Climate and Nature Emergency, legislate to protect the Well-being of Future Generations, and put into law a requirement to reach NetZero by 2050 - we simply have to be prepared to follow through.”

The A483 provides one of the key connecting routes between North and South Wales as well as with England and work has previously been carried out to outline the issues affecting the corridor and the main contributory factors.