Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Work to begin on controversial 50m Porthmadog bypass

The tree-planting ceremony marked the beginning of the work
The tree-planting ceremony marked the beginning of the work

Work on a £50m bypass in Gwynedd is to be officially launched by the transport minister with a tree planting ceremony.

The new section of the A487 will take traffic away from Porthmadog and the villages of Tremadog and Minfordd.

The final go-ahead to the controversial plans, amid claims the road would be an "eyesore", followed a public inquiry.

The A487 is the main north-south route in the area with a high percentage of lorries for which there is currently no convenient alternative route.

Objectors to the bypass told the public inquiry they feared the road's route will make it a "visual eyesore".

Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones, who approved the route after the public inquiry, is to mark the start of construction by planting a tree in one of the landscape areas in the development.

He said: "The A487 is a vital route for travelling between north and south Wales as well as being a key connection between the towns and villages in the area.

'Momentous day'

"This new by-pass should help ease congestion and shorten travel times between north and south Wales. I am delighted to be able to witness first hand this important work getting underway."

Gwynedd council leader, Councillor Dyfed Edwards, said: "This is a momentous day for the Porthmadog area and its residents.

"Following years of discussions, the people of the area will be pleased that the work on developing a new bypass is beginning.

"I am confident that this vital new road will ease congestion in Tremadog, Porthmadog and Minffordd and help make shoppers and visitors experience to the area a more pleasurable one as well as providing a welcome boost to the local economy."

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