P-06-1275 Call on the Government to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the Llanbedr bypass scheme – Councillor Robin Ward to the Committee, 09.06.22



You debated this petition at your meeting on 23/5/22 and decided to defer a decision. You have received an email from our County Councillor, Annwen Hughes who presented the petition and which has been copied to me, regarding the Government response to the petition. Cllr Hughes was the instigator of the current bypass project around 9 years ago.


I actually live in the centre of Llanbedr on the main A496 and have done so for 34 years. I thought it worth drawing to your attention some salient points which may be at odds with Cllr Hughes' account.


It is true that there are occasional traffic hold-ups in the village. However these only occur during the peak holiday season and only ever during a time window of about 2-3 hours either side of lunchtime. The cause is invariably poorly parked vehicles in the village preventing traffic flow, especially over the bridge which has a junction at either end (one coming from the Shell Island holiday complex, supposedly the largest campsite in Europe). Hold ups are generally for no more than 5-10 minutes and can and do occur at many other locations on the A496 along the Ardudwy coast. The same is true for emergency vehicles where a road closure anywhere on the A496 would make for difficulties (there is actually a single lane mountain road that runs most of the length but this would not be suitable for large vehicles).


There are few pavements through the village which together with off street car parking and a 20mph speed limit are the priorities to improve road safety. There also needs to be greater emphasis on encouraging tourists and locals onto public transport. These issues are recognised in Lynn Sloman's report but were conveniently bypassed (!) in the Gwynedd WelTAG reports.


There are alternatives to access the airfield should it be needed, noting that the present management has been there for 14 years, the last 10 of which have been as an Enterprise Zone, with the number of employees at the site currently counted on one hand, despite much public money having been invested. These alternatives were never properly considered by Gwynedd Council.


My main concern is that by pursuing the dead bypass plan rather than seeking positive alternatives, our local politicians are in danger of ensuring we have no improvements at all.


As you declared at your meeting I too look forward to Lee Waters' rural transport initiative and trust that your committee will support the Government's environmental agenda by rejecting this petition.


Robin Ward, Llanbedr Community Councillor.