Mid Wales

Newtown bypass row as revised plans go on display

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Media captionIn March, the Welsh government announced revisions to the preferred route

A caravan park owner claims plans for a Newtown bypass that will be on public display later will destroy his business.

In March the Welsh government announced revisions to the preferred route of the bypass which could save the project £5m.

This includes bringing the route 80 metres closer to Glandulas Caravan Park, owned by Trevor Bebb.

He claims the new plans will cut the park in two.

The bypass route revisions will be on display at a public exhibition at The Elephant and Castle Hotel in Newtown between 10:00 BST and 20:00 BST on Tuesday.

Mr Bebb said the proposed bypass route would bisect the park which currently has 80 static caravans on it.

'Not viable'

He added: "The Welsh government think I can continue operating with a £1m bridge being built to link one part of the park with the other.

"This is a popular park that brings money into Newtown but I fear the business will have to close if this bypass route is not changed.

"I think the business will not be viable while the bypass is being built let alone afterwards.

"People come here for peace and quiet but they will have to put up with the noise of construction work as well as peering out at a roundabout once the bypass is built."

Newtown's Mayor, Rhina Clarke, said: "Everyone in Newtown is fed up with gridlock in the town every Friday afternoon although I do not know if the bypass will solve that problem.

Image caption Mr and Mrs Bebb have owned the park since 2006

"Whichever route is decided it is important for the town's businesses that correct signage is used so that people will still be able to come to Newtown and use its shops, cafes and restaurants."

Overtaking lane

Llanidloes bypass was opened 14 miles from Newtown in 1991.

Gareth Morgan, the town's county councillor, said: "I was against the bypass at the time but I think it has benefitted the town.

"It would be impossible for the town to cope with the amount of traffic in Mid Wales these days."

The Welsh government claims the revisions to the preferred route for the bypass aim to cut its environmental impact.

Changes at four locations will avoid gas mains and reduce the amount of earthworks needed.

The proposed amendments also include an overtaking lane for the whole length of the bypass and the new route will be further away from Garth Owen housing estate.

The new plans also mean drivers will cross over, not under, the Cambrian railway line and at the A489 junction a roundabout will be added.

The 3.4 mile (5.6km) route was approved last year and a consultation on the draft orders will be held in the summer.

A Welsh government spokesman said: "Comments on the amended route can be submitted during the consultation on draft orders."

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