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Last Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007, 14:05 GMT
Public inquiry over road widening
A494 at Aston on Deeside
All sides agree on an upgrade, but differ on the number of lanes
Controversial proposals to upgrade a Flintshire bypass into a seven-lane expressway are to go to public inquiry.

Protestors against the development of the A494 trunk road near Queensferry, have welcomed the decision by Enterprise Minster Andrew Davies.

They say the scheme, which would raise the speed limit from 50mph to 70mph, would increase traffic and noise and "tear the heart out of the community".

The Welsh Assembly Government says the area suffers badly from congestion.

The widening scheme would improve the A55's links with the motorways of north west England.

But residents in Northhop, Queensferry, Ewloe and Aston, on Deeside, have formed a coalition committee to oppose it.

Committee chairman and community councillor George Hardcastle said: "Given the nature of the objections, the Assembly Government had no alternative but to go to public inquiry.

"The road does need upgrading, we appreciate that, but it needs two lanes and a drag lane."

No date has been set for the inquiry, which will be held later this year.

In a statement, Andrew Davies said: "There has been much interest in the proposals and a public inquiry is the appropriate forum for taking people's views fully into account.

"I shall consider the inspector's findings carefully before deciding whether or not to proceed with the published proposals."

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