Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport
I am writing to inform Members of my decision on the proposed A487 Caernarfon and Bontnewydd Bypass Scheme.
Following full consideration of the Inspector’s report, I am pleased to announce my decision that this Scheme, which is included in our National Transport Plan 2015, can proceed.
I fully agree with the Inspector’s conclusion that there’s a compelling case for the Scheme to be implemented in order to remove through traffic from LLanwnda, Dinas, Bontnewydd and Caernarfon to improve safety within the town and significantly improve conditions for long distance traffic on the strategic road network of North Wales.
The new bypass will reduce traffic volumes through Bontnewydd by 72% and through Caernarfon by 33%. This will lead to reduced severance of communities and facilities, improved safety, air quality and quality of life in the settlements along this route. The removal of through traffic will also provide opportunities to encourage active travel within and around Caernarfon and Bontnewydd by linking with the surrounding communities.
The Scheme will be 9.7km in length and will comprise a 2+1 single carriageway design that will provide good opportunities for safe overtaking. This route will be made up of three sections separated by new roundabouts at Meifod and Cibyn. The bypass will provide improved links between west Wales to the A55, Ireland, the rest of Great Britain and Europe leading to better access to jobs and services. Improved access to Cibyn Industrial Estate along with tourist destinations including Caernarfon, the Llŷn Peninsula and Snowdonia will open up the area to development opportunities which will benefit the area’s economic prosperity.
The construction phase of the bypass will result in significant benefits to local labour, through employment and training opportunities, which will provide both short and longer term local social and economic benefits. The use of local suppliers will also directly benefit the local economy.
I am satisfied that all the issues raised have been carefully considered through the statutory process and the Scheme will provide substantial public benefit without having disproportionate adverse impacts.
The next steps would see a Design and Construct contract awarded with detailed scheme design commencing in June. Construction could then start in November 2018, and be completed by spring 2021.