Wales

Newgale A487: £30m new route for storm-ravaged road

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Media captionSandra Young of Solva Community Council said a new road was needed

A new stretch of road built inland is the preferred replacement for a coastal route threatened by storms and erosion.

The A487 in Newgale, Pembrokeshire, is sheltered by a massive shingle bank but it could be wiped out within 10 to 20 years because of climate change, the council says.

Ten people were stranded there when a large wave hit their bus during severe storms in 2014.

Pembrokeshire council has ruled out a £40m viaduct at Newgale itself.

Image copyright PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
Image caption The preferred route inland of Newgale

The A487 had to be closed numerous times during the 2014 storms and was blocked by pebbles for several days.

The council's preferred route, one of three options, was unveiled at a public exhibition at Victoria Hall, Roch on Tuesday.

It is effectively a bypass for Newgale beach, "hugging the valley" and would cost up to £30m.

The one-and-a-half mile (2.5km) stretch would link the existing road at Penycwm with a new roundabout near Roch.

Councillor Phil Baker, cabinet member responsible for transportation, said the route was the "culmination" of public consultation.

"It carries strong public support, is one of the most cost-effective solutions and provides the best access to the iconic views that Newgale has to offer," he said.

Image caption Newgale's shingle bank acts as a sea defence

But Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb said: "Feelings have been running high over this for the last three years and I expect many more people will be extremely concerned when they learn that Newgale beach may be lost in its current form.

"Newgale is hugely important for Pembrokeshire tourism. The council and Welsh Government need to get it right or the consequences could be enormous."

If the cabinet agrees, the council will apply for Welsh Government financial support for further studies of the ground conditions, ecology and environment to decide on the precise location for the road.

The Welsh Government said it is continuing to work "closely" with the county council over the current problems.

A public inquiry will also be needed for what is a major scheme within the Pembrokeshire National Park.

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