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David Vs Goliath – The Battle to Save Our Environment

  The Welsh Assembly Government, under their delegated resposiblities for Transport and the Economy, decided in 2015 to look at improvements to the A55 /A494 Dual Carriageway to ease congestion along the route. The original plan was to widen the A55 at Aston Hill to a three lane carriageway, therefore alleviating congestion on the hill. The proposals were met with significant opposition by local residents and in 2008, the then First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, confirmed the development would not go ahead. 

Fast forward to 2015, the plans for the development and improvements along the route were once again considered and a number of options proposed.

 

The Red Route

The Red Route will see a brand new road constructed from the A494 by the Deeside Corridor, across the Flintshire Bridge (upgrades to the bridge will be necessary) through acres of farmland, wild countryside and ancient woodland and linking back to the A55 with the construction of a brand new, multi level interchange at Junction 33A of the A55 at Northop.

The Blue Route

The Blue Route (which is this campaigns preferred route along with additional measures) would involve major improvements to the existing A55 / A494 routes. The carriageway would widened to six lanes for 6 miles in each direction and major junction improvements at the Ewloe Junction Interchange. Additional proposals would include a crawler lane up from Northop to Halkyn. 

The Decision . . . 

On 17th September 2017, Ken Skates, Minister with responsibility for Transport and the Economy announced that following a (flawed) public consultation process that the Welsh Government had chosen the Red Route as its preferred option and would progress its plans for addressing the congestion issues in the Deeside corridor area: Announcing his plans:

 Having taken full account of the technical, social, economic and environmental aspects of the scheme and listened to the consultation responses, I’m confident that this significant investment will address the existing problems and compliment improvements across the Deeside area. The next steps will be to develop a preliminary design, which considers the environmental and engineering issues in more detail and looks to address some of the issues raised during the consultation.I’m hopeful that this can all be completed quickly, with businesses and commuters feeling the benefit of this project at the earliest opportunity, strengthening the social and economic links between Deeside Industrial Estate Chester and beyond in the process”

Progressing the Plans 

On 17th September 2017, Ken Skates, Minister with responsibility for Transport and the Economy announced that following a (flawed) public consultation process that the Welsh Government had chosen the Red Route as its preferred option and would progress its plans for addressing the congestion issues in the Deeside corridor area: Announcing his plans:

 Having taken full account of the technical, social, economic and environmental aspects of the scheme and listened to the consultation responses, I’m confident that this significant investment will address the existing problems and compliment improvements across the Deeside area. The next steps will be to develop a preliminary design, which considers the environmental and engineering issues in more detail and looks to address some of the issues raised during the consultation.I’m hopeful that this can all be completed quickly, with businesses and commuters feeling the benefit of this project at the earliest opportunity, strengthening the social and economic links between Deeside Industrial Estate Chester and beyond in the process”