PEOPLE’S responses to a consultation about a long-awaited Llandeilo bypass or diversion scheme are still being considered by the Welsh Government.
A recommendation on a preferred route was due to be made by the autumn, but it’s now expected to be over the winter.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We are considering public and stakeholders views before meeting with Carmarthenshire Council to discuss progressing to the next stage.”
Public consultations have now been held after two phases of the embryonic project – the second identifying four potential options from an original list of 11.
Three of the four options feature a bypass which would skirt the east of Llandeilo, running along the railway below and then joining up with the A40 roundabout north of the town, and one incorporating traffic lights and the removal of parking in Rhosmaen Street but no relief road. The bypass options also avoid the village of Ffairfach to the south.
The scheme aims to reduce pollution on the A483 as it runs up the town’s hilly Bridge Street and narrower Rhosmaen Street, where large vehicles can struggle to pass one another.
Benedict Vaughan-Morris has run gift and decorations shop The Little Welsh Dresser, in Rhosmaen Street, for eight years.
He said: “I do support the need for a bypass, or a diversion, and I feel there is quite strong support for a bypass between people who live in the town and the majority of businesses.”
He said it was difficult to say if car traffic levels had changed much, but he reckoned HGV usage had increased. “It’s the HGVs which are the issue,” he said.
Some concerns have been raised about a bypass’s effect on fields it would traverse.
Other people have said that Llandeilo could not keeping putting up with the large vehicles and congestion. Speaking in December 2020, Caroline Jenkins, of gift and clothing shop Igam Ogam, said: “Llandeilo was not meant for this. We desperately need the bypass.”
Llandeilo has a designated air quality management area because of pollution breaches, but a report before the council’s place, sustainability and climate change scrutiny committee last month said defined levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution hadn’t been exceeded for the last three years.
Llandeilo councillor Edward Thomas said he had written to the Welsh Government to ask what its response was to the second and latest consultation.
Work to build a bypass was initially supposed to begin in 2019, but a year later this was delayed until 2022 before another start date of 2025 was put forward.