There will be no routine daytime work involving lane closures on the A55 between J11 and the English borders until at least September 2018, Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates has announced.
Significant Welsh Government investment over recent years means no planned daytime lane closures will be required before the end of next summer. This extends the pledge which has seen no works on that section of the route during the day since early April.
Emergency work will continue to take place whenever and wherever necessary to ensure road users are safe.
The news comes as the Welsh Government publishes the recommendations from its report into further A55 resilience improvements, with all construction work as a result of the study completed overnight until at least next September – a priority for Mr Skates.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“I know only too well how important a fully functioning A55 is to communities across North Wales and my commitment to delivering improvements to this vital economic artery is unwavering.
“This year has seen the culmination of four years of imperative work to bring the A55’s tunnels up to modern standards, alongside recent road surface improvements, flood alleviation work, urgent maintenance work and more. With the proposed Deeside Corridor, Third Menai Crossing, Caernarfon to Bontnewydd bypass, A55 roundabouts at J15 (Llanfairfechan) and J16 (Penmaenmawr) and A55 J13 (Abergwyngregyn) to J12 (Tal y Bont) schemes all at various stages of planning or delivery, this Government term will likely see the biggest investment in roads in North Wales for decades, maybe ever. That’s something I’m extremely proud of.
“Whilst the nature of projects both past and future means daytime work is unavoidable as times, I’ve been very clear of my wish to minimise daytime work where ever possible. I’m delighted, therefore, to confirm that improvement works planned until next September will see no daytime lane closures at all on this stretch. All such planned work will be completed overnight or under narrow dual lanes. This has all been made possible due to the Welsh Government’s commitment and investment in the A55.
“The decision brings with it obvious costs and challenges, and I’d like to put on record my thanks to the many contractors, shift workers and agents who will continue to work long, unsociable hours in all conditions so that disruptions to road users can be kept to a minimum.”
In April, the Cabinet Secretary commissioned a study to identify possible improvements to further enhance the resilience of the A55.
The report’s recommendations, in outline, include interventions that aim to reduce the levels of congestion at critical times, improve communications with the public and better incident responses.
Ken Skates added:
“The study has considered all aspects of the road from Holyhead to Post House, associated routes such as the A494 corridor from the Ewloe Interchange to Drome Corner and diversion routes.
“As a result, we will be implementing a number of interventions we can put in place quickly to improve the travel experience whilst considering other potential improvements for the future. These ‘quick win’ measures will complement existing plans along this key strategic route and help minimise the frequency and impact of incidents and breakdowns.
“I hope today’s announcements will mean communities and businesses in North Wales and beyond can look forward with confidence to continued improvements and limited disruption, with the prospect of major improvements to come.”
A55 / A494 network resilience study WelTAG stage 1 report - https://beta.gov.wales/a55-a494