North West Wales

Bontnewydd bypass route opposition increases

Route options map for Bontnewydd bypass
Image caption The 'purple' route runs from Dinas to the Felinheli bypass

Campaigners who oppose the route of a proposed bypass in Gwynedd are holding a public meeting on Friday to step up calls for a rethink.

Residents claim the planned route for the Bontnewydd bypass will devastate the villages of Bethel and Felinheli.

The new £85m road is needed to relieve daily queues south of Caernarfon.

But the Welsh government said the proposed 'purple' route had the least impact air quality, biodiversity, and heritage than the alternative options.

Gwynedd councillor for Bethel, Sion Jones, said he and other members of the community did not oppose the principle of a bypass, but did object to the route that has been selected by the Welsh government.

"Why should a Bontnewydd-Caernarfon bypass ruin small villages just outside of Caernarfon called Bethel and Felinheli?" said Mr Jones.

"It's crazy."

He argued that another route considered by officials during public consultations would provide better value for money and reduce accident risks.

Route impact

Another objection put forward by the campaigners is that the proposed purple route will run for part of its stretch parallel to the already existing Felinheli bypass.

Bethel farmer Bleddyn Wynn-Jones said the planned road would cut through his best agricultural fields.

"There are already five roads running through my land and now they want to put another big one right through the best land. Why?" he said.

"There is a good route - the yellow route - on the other side of me."

Opponents say they want the Welsh government to review its decision on the bypass.

In a statement, a Welsh government spokesperson said: "An appraisal concluded that this route has less impact on local air quality, biodiversity, and heritage than the alternative options.

"It also has less impact on local traffic whilst reducing the number of accidents across the area.

"Traffic noise level will decrease and air quality will improve along the B4366 through Bethel as a result of reduced vehicle numbers, in particular HGVs."

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