TUESDAY FEBRUARY 13th, 2pm to 7pm in Llandeilo Civic Hall, Crescent Road — there is a public consultation about the construction of a Llandeilo bypass.
If you want to know more, you can contact Llandeilo’s county councillor, Edward Thomas, on 07842 649261, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A leaflet delivered locally draws attention to air pollution within about 30 metres of Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, and to fears that “heavy, fast-moving traffic will threaten the safety of children travelling to and from the school”.
Talk of a Llandeilo bypass, which began in 1939, has resurfaced amid rising worry about dangerous numbers of heavy vehicles, and illegal levels of air pollution, along the A483 Manchester to Swansea trunk road where it slices through the centre of the town.
All the possible routes considered so far have drawbacks – and the lately built Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, at Love Lodge Farm, Ffairfach, could cause new and expensive complications.
The Welsh Government’s budget, agreed with the Plaid Cymru opposition in October 2016, includes a commitment to explore ways of bringing forward construction of a Llandeilo bypass.
The bypass project, which would improve air quality and road safety in the town, but would damage historic landscapes regardless of the route selected, has been prepared for dusting off a number of times, but remained shelved. In 2013 Edwina Hart, then the Welsh Government’s Minister for Economics, Science and Transport, gave a start date of 2016. Welcoming the news, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board member responsible for transport at the time, Pontamman’s Colin Evans, said the bypass would be likely to cost over £40 million.
Several routes have been proposed over the years. The Outer Western Route, not a preferred option, would slice right through the protected landscape of Dinefwr Park and the new £30 million, 1,200-pupil Bro Dinefwr school, and so is off the table.
The Inner Western Route and the Inner Eastern Route would both require a roundabout where the eastern boundary of the school meets the A476 road to Cross Hands, which is used by much traffic bound for the A48 and M4.
The Outer Eastern Route avoids going anywhere near the new school, but it also avoids meeting the A476.
The prospect of a large roundabout in the cramped space between Ysgol Bro Dinefwr and Ffairfach raises issues of risks to pedestrians and of too-close proximity to the vehicle entrance to the school, which is just yards further along the A476.
During construction works, building a roundabout between the school and Ffairfach would impede and slow down access to the school for vehicles and pedestrians.
The Welsh Government, though, said late in 2016 that it had no concerns about fitting in a roundabout between the new school and Ffairfach.
A spokesperson said: “The proposed route of the Eastern Bypass of Llandeilo has been protected for a number of years and pre-dates the construction of Bro Dinefwr comprehensive school. When the local planning authority was developing proposals for the school they consulted with our transport department to ensure that the school was positioned to take into account the proposed bypass route.”
There is less space, though, than that occupied by the A40-A483 roundabout on the eastern side of Llandeilo, and the far larger numbers of pedestrians who would need to cross the bypass roundabout would surely require wide paths, taking up even more room.