Furious row erupts after £14m village bypass is scrapped because of increased carbon emissions as Welsh government is accused of sacrificing rural areas ‘on the altar of climate change’

  • Plaid Cymru MSs and Council slam Welsh Labour Government over decision
  • In March 2013, the Bypass Plan was officially approved, but it has been cancelled.
  • According to the Welsh Government, a 1.5 km new road would increase carbon omissions
  • Critics argue that Llanbedr would be flooded by congestion and pollution if it did not have it 

Today, a row broke out over the Welsh Government’s decision today to scrap plans for a bypass village because they claim it will increase carbon emission.

Campaigners accused the Labour government, as they called for the decision not to be re-taken, of’sacrificing rural community on the altar of Climate Change’. 

Llanbedr is a small village in south Snowdonia that has suffered from traffic jams in its narrow main street for many years. 

But yesterday, the government decreed that a £14 million bypass which got the official go-ahead in March last year, fails climate change tests.

A committee made up of experts in climate change and transport recommended that the 1.5km bypass be abandoned. It would increase carbon emissions. This recommendation was supported by the government.

It is part of an ongoing review of road plans in Wales, given the climate change implications.

A furious row erupted over the Welsh Government's decision to scrap plans for a bypass that would divert traffic away from the village of Llanbedr (pictured) because of climate change

An angry row broke out over the Welsh Government’s decision that it would scrap plans for a bypass which would divert traffic away the village of Llanbedr (pictured), due to climate change.

The community in Gwynedd as well as Plaid Cymru and Plaid Cymru MPs have reacted with anger to the decision.

Dyfrig Sincyn, the leader of Gwynedd Council, condemned the decision. He told Nation Cymru that the decision was a travesty and that rural areas could be sacrificed for climate change. But the real problem is in urban areas.

“This is a devastating blow to our hopes for the peoples of Meirionnydd.

Despite their fine words, Ministers representing urban areas have no understanding or empathy with rural communities’ problems and they clearly do not want to improve the lives and well-being of those who live and work there.

Plaid Cymru Senedd member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Mabon Ap Gwynfor, described it as ‘a kick in their teeth for Llanbedr, and all the coastal communities’.

He suggested that the government close the M4 in a minister’s region and force the hundreds, if not thousands of urban dwellers to use public transport.

Gwynedd council leader Dyfrig Siencyn

Plaid Cymru Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts

Dyfrig Siencyn, leader of Gwynedd Council, and Liz Saville Roberts, local MP, slammed this decision

Mr. Gwynfor stated that if Welsh Labour was truly concerned about climate emergencies, it would fund essential transport and public services for Llanbedr residents and the surrounding areas.

Both he, and Liz Saville Roberts, the local MP, demanded a rethink.

Ms Saville Roberts stated on Twitter that the government had decided Llanbedr “must continue to suffer from chronic traffic pollution and gridlock”.

She went on to accuse the Welsh Government of  having ‘zero vision for rural Wales… save pollution and poverty’.

The MP stated: “The community of Llanbedr has been begging for a bypass for years to improve the quality life for its residents.

“The Welsh Government has decided to impose a blanket ban without any understanding of the actual situation. This will leave the community as disappointed as I am.

Llanbedr representatives say rural communities are 'sacrificed on the altar of climate change'

Representatives of Llanbedr claim that rural communities are being’sacrificed to the altar of climate change’

“At the heights of summer, with the combination of visitor traffic as well as heavy goods vehicles, the village often comes halt.

‘The traffic volume through Llanbedr and the idle engine running is harmful to the health of residents.

“The lack of access to Llanbedr airfield, which is owned by the Welsh Government, means that our government is trying to stop improvements that would improve rural north west Wales’ economy.

“I urge Welsh Government to immediately reconsider this decision.”

Lee Waters, Labour’s deputy minister for climate change, said that he disagreed at the Gwynedd leader’s press conference.

He said, “It’s not good for leaders and decision-makers to sign up to the principle that climate change action is needed, but then running away and saying alarming statements when it comes time to take the necessary actions to do so.

“That just isn’t leadership that the scale of our times demands us to make.”

He insisted the £10million pledged to help Llanbedr tackle the traffic and pollution problem was still available, according to the BBC, and that the Government wanted to work with the local council to find a different solution.