Joyce goes behind the scenes of Newtown bypass

Ahead of the closure of the A489 Newtown to Kerry road for two weeks from Monday (16 Apr), Assembly member Joyce Watson went behind the scenes of Newtown bypass.

The half-completed £92 million project includes over 6.5km of new road, with 11 structures and 5 roundabouts.

The Labour AM, who chairs the Assembly’s All-party group on construction and sits on the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills committee, spoke to contractors and trainees about the build. She said:

“Despite the inevitable traffic disruption, the bypass is already delivering significant benefits. Of the 250 workers on the ground at peak times, nearly three-quarters are from Wales, a third from Newtown and the surrounding area.

“I was especially pleased to meet some of the young people who are gaining fantastic work experience through the project. Thanks to Welsh Government investment in Newtown bypass and other major infrastructure projects like Wylfa Newydd and the M4 relief road, the Welsh construction sector is set to grow almost four times faster than the UK average – so it is a very exciting time for them to be embarking of their careers.”

Mrs Watson continued:

“On the ground, the scale of the build is staggering. Two-and-a-half million tonnes of earth is being dug up and moved around – enough to fill the Principality Stadium. And around 80,000 plants will be planted to soften the bypass’s visual impact.

“I am grateful to CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) and the contractors, Alun Griffiths, for organising the visit.”

Following the visit, Joyce attended the launch of the Elan Link scheme, a five-year £3.3million programme to support tourism, heritage and nature preservation in the Elan Valley.