DEESIDE politicians have slammed the Welsh Government’s decision to ditch the 'red route' plan. 

The red route would have seen a new eight-mile stretch of dual carriageway linking the A55 at Northop with the A494 and A550 north of Deeside Parkway Junction via the Flintshire Bridge.

It included other improvements and modifications, such as upgrading the A548 over Flintshire Bridge between Connah's Quay and the Wirral. 

It was decided upon after a public consultation in 2017 as a solution to heavy traffic and air pollution on the A494 Aston Hill.

READ MORE: Welsh Government scrap A483 junction upgrade plan for Wrexham

But the results of the Welsh Government’s road review published today (February 14) show that the red route will now be scrapped.

Improvements will instead be made to the A494 at Aston Hill.

Commenting on the decision, Mark Tami MP said: “I feel that my constituents next to the A494 have been badly let down. I’m extremely disappointed at the announcement and I think the minister needs to wake up and think again. 

“While I understand the need to balance environmental concerns, public health has to be the number one priority. This decision will have a negative impact on the people of Aston, Higher Shotton, Queensferry and Sealand who have already put up with serious levels of air pollution for far too long. 

“I will continue to press the Welsh Government for measures that will solve this issue for Deeside.” 

Speaking in the Senedd, Jack Sargeant MS said: “I am obviously deeply disappointed. It is clear from today’s announcement that the red route is not going ahead.  

The Leader:

PIC: Jack Sargeant MS.

“Ultimately this was about reducing air pollution. Minister, it is now time for you to deliver. My constituents need immediate action, not more reviews. 

“I would be grateful if you could outline what immediate action looks like and what steps you are taking, as the Minister responsible, to invest all of the money ear marked for the red route in Deeside to alleviate this public health problem?” 

County Councillor for Shotton East and Higher, David Evans, stated: “I am very disheartened with the decision by Welsh Government not to go ahead with the red route as this will not help my constituents in the Higher Shotton area.  

“Pollution levels from exhaust fumes are already at a very concerning level and this decision is not good for us in Deeside. I call on the Welsh Government to come up with a solution to the problems on the A494 Aston Hill which doesn’t involve 30-foot-high fences as that is not the answer.”  

Aston County Councillor Gillian Brockley added: "I am at a loss for words. For over a decade, the red route has been fought for, consulted on and promised to Deeside, and specifically for the residents of Aston and Ewloe. I have lived in Alder Ave, directly facing  the A494 blue route. Forty years ago my father planted trees and bushes alongside the A494 pathway, attempting to create a barrier between our residents and the pollution that was literally on our doorsteps.  

“Since then, the volume of traffic has increased hugely and the Aston Hill is no longer fit for purpose.  

“The blue route was rejected and must not be allowed to be brought back to the table as an alternative option to the promised Red Route, nor the ridiculous 30ft wall notion that was suggested last year. 

“We need another viable option, to alleviate the pressure of an ever-increasing volume of traffic on the A494. Our residents’ health has suffered enough, and we must not go quietly into the night on this matter." 

The Leader:

PIC: Lee Waters.

Speaking in the Senedd, Deputy Climate Change Minister 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.”