Ceredigion Green Party strongly objects to the proposed road schemes which are designed to speed up journeys on the stretch of the A487 south of Llanrhystud and north of Aberarth. These schemes will speed up journeys for a few motorists on very short sections of the A487, but then traffic will grind to a halt in Llanon and in Aberarth as both are natural bottlenecks. These tiny gains will create worse traffic jams in Llanon and Aberarth, causing higher local levels of pollution. In any case, what is the point of spending millions of pounds to save 60 seconds on a two hour journey?
Harry Hayfield, Prospective Candidate for Plaid Werdd Ceredigion Green Party in the May Senedd Election, asks, “When is the Welsh Labour Government going to wake up to the reality of the climate emergency we now face? Improvements to public transport and cycle networks will achieve our aims to get to net zero, not spending £23M on road works to speed up car travel.” Harry further wants to know what cost-benefit analyses have been carried out, what environmental impacts, and how much CO₂ will be released from the enormous construction of these schemes.
Harry, who lives in Llanrhystud, argues that cycle lanes and footpaths ought to be instated in their own rights and should follow the whole length of the A487, not just the ‘improved’ part as there will still be dangerous sections between, which in its totality will not encourage people to walk or cycle there. “The junction in Llanrhystud where the proposed roundabout would be is currently a very quiet junction, unlike the junction where the B4337 joins the A487. It appears that it will become more dangerous for pedestrians to cross after these so-called ‘improvements’ in that part of Llanrhystud, where a reasonably good crossing was built quite recently. I have spoken to local pedestrians and they worry that this will eventually be removed as part of the roundabout installation.” (Harry is pictured by the quiet junction)
Cloaking the schemes with eco words doesn’t negate its overall damaging impact on our planet. As the proposers say, the planting and landscaping will ‘enhance biodiversity and ecosystem resilience.’ Harry believes the opposite and that “ALL of the environmental costs would indicate that these two schemes should be immediately abandoned.” Adding a few electric charging points also doesn’t make it green. The only green thing to do is reduce the level of car use. The pandemic has shown us how beautiful our Earth is without the incessant noise of vehicle. Given a significant portion of the population has shifted to working from home, this should be encouraged as much as possible in the future. On top of that the use of electric vehicles can never be on the same level as fossil fuelled ones; electricity has to be prioritised for heating homes and businesses, current use of electrical equipment and public transport.
“I hope that people will voice their opposition to this costly proposal. Ceredigion Green Party will fight this all the way.”