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Last Updated: Friday, 3 September, 2004, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Engineers look at more A55 relief
The A55 winding around the headland, photo: Welsh Assembly Government
Where the mountains meet the sea is also a road engineering headache
A new study into further improvements on the A55 at Penmaenbach near Conwy is to begin soon.

Improvement work costing millions of pounds has recently been completed on the network of tunnels and bridges which carry traffic round the headland.

The Welsh Assembly Government has already promised to look at the option of a new road tunnel there.

The main priority of the new study is to look at road conditions and safety.

Strengthening work costing 1.5m on improving barriers between the carrigeway and the railway was completed recently.

Haulier Glyn Edwards said the twists and turns in the Chester-bound carriageway were difficult for lorry drivers.

"When you go around there and you get a car at the side of you, you have to really watch you don't catch it in the bonnet," said Mr Edwards.

"It's difficult if you get a large van to the side of you, it can get very close to the wall."

I take the point that the tunnel isn't ideal, but we have to live in the real world
David Williams, North Wales Business Club

Conwy councillor and cabnet member Gareth Jones is worried that the road in its current state could have an impact on jobs and tourism.

"We've got an expresssway but the flow of traffic and the speed is being undermined, it's a second rate kind of expressway," said Mr Jones.

One of the options open to the assembly government is building a new tunnel, which it promised to look at in March 2003.

It has now announced that consultant engineers are to examine road alignment and safety on the stretch.

Electrification

An assembly government spokesman said the feasibility study would produce options for improvements between junctions 16 and 17, a two-and-a-half mile stretch.

David Williams, chairman of the North Wales Business Club said: "I take the point that the tunnel isn't ideal, but we have to live in the real world."

He said the whole issue of transport in north Wales needed to be considered.

"My concern is getting the infrastructure right on all counts, including the railway and one of the key aspects that we could expect to improve the economic well-being of this area would be the electrification of the line from Holyhead to Chester."

The assembly government is to spend 175m over the next four years on trunk roads in Wales, as well as look at rail transport issues.


SEE ALSO:
Lorry driver dies in road crash
04 Aug 04  |  South East Wales
Smoke causes hazard on A55
22 Jun 04  |  North West Wales
A55 delays hit holiday traffic
01 May 04  |  North West Wales
A55 roadworks agony resumes
15 Sep 03  |  Wales


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