The Member of the Senedd for Clwyd South, Ken Skates, raised the urgent need for improvements to the A483 in November, calling for an update on the Welsh Government’s review of the key local route and saying work to make Junction 1 at Ruabon safer was vital .
Mr Skates, the former Transport Minister, followed up on the ‘crucial’ local issues by writing to Minister Lee Waters, who is now in charge of transport matters in Wales.
He also pointed out the increased traffic on local roads because of A483 congestion and delays to work to repair and reopen the B5605 at Newbridge, which Wrexham Council is still to announce a start date for almost 10 months after the Welsh Government announced funding had been made available to the local authority.
In his letter to the Minister of December 11, Mr Skates also expressed his concerns over the possible impact on north Wales rail services of the recent collapse of Vivarail.
The Minister responded to Mr Skates, saying: “I am sorry to hear about the continuing problems your constituents are experiencing at Ruabon. As advised in the Siambr, we believe the closure of Newbridge Road (B5605) is contributing to the increased traffic volumes in this area as motorists look to take alternative routes.
“We awarded funding of £2,805m to Wrexham County Borough Council from the Resilient Roads Fund for the remedial works at Newbridge Road. The council will be best placed to advise on when works will be completed, which should alleviate congestion in and around junction 1 of the A483.”
On the rail issues raised by Mr Skates, the Minister said: “On November 23, Vivarail filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators with the appointment of Grant Thornton in early December. As a consequence, there will be a period of uncertainty over the coming weeks for the employees of Vivarail and also its stakeholders.
“Transport for Wales (TfW) will of course continue to work closely with Vivarail and the administrators during this difficult time. TfW’s focus remains on bringing the Class 230 units into service on the Wrexham to Bidston Line. Now that the Office of Rail and Road has provided TfW with additional access rights to operate additional services on the Wrexham to Bidston line, TfW are working hard to deliver these as soon as it is possible for them to do so.
“Due to the commitments for both increased passenger and freight services on the Wrexham to Bidston line, Network Rail have declared that the line is congested infrastructure. Network Rail are now working across the rail industry, including with TfW, to develop options for further increasing the capacity of the line.”
This week, Mr Skates said: “These are crucial local issues for our area and they need urgent attention. I’m grateful for the Minister’s commitment to helping resolve them and I will continue to work with the Welsh Government to produce tangible results.
“Along with many others in Clwyd South and Wrexham, I now eagerly await an announcement from the Welsh Government that the long-awaited improvements to the A483 will go ahead. In the meantime, we urgently need positive news from Wrexham Council about Newbridge and when the work to repair and reopen the road will finally get under way.”