Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Bypass project given green light

Villagers have raised concerns about heavy traffic

Plans for a bypass around a village to improve road safety and journey times have been given the go-ahead.

Minister for the Economy and Transport Ieuan Wyn Jones said work would start on the A483 at Four Crosses, near Welshpool, Powys, in autumn 2009.

Concerns about the volume of traffic in the village were first raised by the local community council in 1994.

Mr Jones added the road represented a "vital corridor" for business and should reduce casualties.

The A483 trunk road currently runs through the centre of Four Crosses, but plans are to move it westwards.

The minister said: "The construction of a new section of trunk road to the west of Four Crosses, will remove cars and heavy goods vehicles from an existing substandard route which passes through the heart of the community.

'Journey times'

"This should reduce both casualty numbers and community severance.

"In addition the improvement will provide regional accessibility and mobility, improve journey times and enhance walking and cycling conditions in this area of Wales, whilst also improving our transport links as set out in the One Wales Agreement."

Mr Jones said the A483 provided "a vital corridor" to and from mid Wales.

He added: "It links communities located either side of the English border and provides a route between north and south Wales - as well as providing an important conduit for tourism, agriculture and other industries in mid Wales."

Councillor Barry Thomas, leader of the Montgomeryshire independent group on Powys council, has been campaigning for better road links in the old county for many years.

He said any improvements to roads in mid Wales "must be welcomed".

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