United Opposition!...what local AMs are doing and saying on our behalf

North Wales AMs stand together at Cardiff Assembly in opposing current proposals for wider roads!

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"2)    There is widespread concern that these proposals are proceeding prior to publication of the Wales Transport Strategy Report.  

I am advised that Flintshire County Council Representatives are concerned that the proposals take no account of the Wales Transport Strategy (summary meeting report, 3rd February 2007). ‘


In the past, Flintshire County Council engineers would have been actively involved in designing such an ‘improvement’ project (taking into account local transport issues) on behalf of the Trunk Road Agency. Now, this current project has been directly contracted to a construction company by the Welsh Assembly Government. I am advised that there is NO requirement in the new scheme for the contractor to consider the impact on the local traffic system.


3)    A letter from Andrew Davies to me dated 11th October 2006 states that a Formal Environmental Impact Assessment is required for this scheme and that this would include an assessment of the effects on residents and local communities.

In this context, please be aware of the recent report in ‘The Lancet’ which raised fresh concerns for the health of young people living in close proximity to Highways carrying intense traffic of diesel powered vehicles.


There is also widespread concern about the health and wellbeing implications of this scheme for the local population at large.


However, there is a question about the degree to which human health has been considered within the Environmental Impact Assessment.


I have been copied on correspondence, dated 2 February 2007, from the Health Impact Assessment Development Officer at the Welsh Health Impact Assessment Support Unit to the Associate Director of Public Health and Director of Economic Regeneration.


This states that the “Welsh Assembly Government has given a commitment to health impact assessments and this process can be a vital way of considering health and wellbeing within planning. Indeed, they published the DMIPPS 02/2006 on ‘Planning, Health and Wellbeing’ with regard to the Planning process at the end of last year”.


The Health Impact Assessment Development Officer adds that her remit is to “provide support, advice and guidance to those who wish to undertake a HIA across North Wales and if you feel that a HIA is necessary or appropriate then I am available as a resource for you”.


The worrying implication of this is  that a proper Health Impact Assessment has not been conducted by the person or unit charged with responsibility for this.


4)    The Cabinet Written Statement by Andrew Davies, Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Network, dated 26th January 2007 refers to ‘proposals to widen the A494 in Flintshire into a six lane highway’.


In reality, however, There will be 4 lanes up Aston Hill and 3 lanes down, plus 2 hard-shoulders ( the same width as the other lanes, for use in emergency etc.)

From Queensferry to Ewloe there will be a local road alongside the main carriageway 2 lanes so for most of the 2 miles it will be 11 lanes wide, but from the PloughBridge to Aston Hall Lane we have another local road 2 lanes.

Making a grand total of 13 lanes at Aston (not 6).

Without the local roads it will still be wider than the M56, M6, M4, and most other Motorways, and they do not cut through  villages.

When the 4 lanes reach the top of the hill at Ewloe the traffic then has to merge into 2 lanes.

It is not unreasonable to assume that the consequence of this will be traffic chaos and significant negative impact on the quality of life for local residents.

5)    There has been widespread concern about the closure of local road junctions. I understand that this has now been discussed at a meeting at Flintshire County Council attended by Council Officers, Local Ward Councillors and local campaigners.

It is noted that the removal of the north bound exit slip road at Ewloe/St David’s Park Roundabout will generate additional local traffic on other Flintshire roads involving Northop Hall, Mold, Buckley, Ewloe and Hawarden.  

It is also noted that the removal of the Plough Lane Junction will increase A494 traffic exiting at the Queensferry Roundabout. This will have a severe adverse impact on what is already a congestion hotspot, affecting Queensferry, Garden City, Shotton, Connah’s Quay, AstonPark,  Mancot and Sealand.  Concern has also been expressed about the restrictions that this would place on access for emergency vehicles.

The consequential costs of the impact on the County Road Network will fall adversely on Flintshire County Council.    

6)  If the proposals had been to take traffic away from the heavily populated area of Deeside, the plans would have been acceptable. However to plough through the community with what can only be compared with an American Freeway, demolishing houses and destroying community life is a retrograde step. With a little imagination and effort, traffic could instead be diverted away from this residential area, leaving the current road infrastructure capable of handling domestic traffic comfortably.

Local residents feel that the priority for an alterative route should be the FlintshireBridge. There is widespread concern that this has not been included in current Assembly Government proposals.

The A55 route around Chester, with re-labelling of Junction 15 on the M56, has been proposed as a second alternative route. This would go onto the Spur Road off the M56, onto the M53 and follow on to the A55. It is anticipated that this would be a better alternative with fewer obstructions for both motorists and HGV drivers travelling into North Wales.

I would be grateful if you could both confirm receipt of this submission and give the matters raised within it your very serious attention.

Your faithfully"

Please contact me if there are more good, civic-minded folk who, for the hard work and efforts they are putting in on behalf of those who they represent, deserve a mention on these pages. I will be pleased to quote what they are individually doing for their constituents and will  will be pleased to add names to the list (opposite)as appropriate. 

In the meantime, hands up all those councillors who have not yet attended a public presentation or meeting concerning this issue! ..JB

 If you would like to know who to write to on the local COUNCIL, at the WELSH ASSEMBLY or in PARLIAMENT -just enter your postcode here!