Interests: Road building
We are a loose coalition of ordinary folk who are opposed to Transport Wales' current plans to make the A494 Queensferry to Ewloe dual carriageway into a virtual 'motorway'.
The proposed road widening to, in effect, 11 lanes would result in lifting of the current 50mph speed constraint and a highway so massive that it would disrupt and pollute forever a lovely part of semi-rural Britain.
By employing a strategy of promoting 'improvement' to just a short section of existing highway at any one time, Transport Wales conceals the true extent of its aspirations. It is attempting to impose what is in all but name a motorway in the whole of the A494/A55 North Wales trunk road.
There has been no public consultation about the 'big picture' objectives or realistic appraisal of future needs or transport alternatives. Despite concerns that the proposed work would bring heavy traffic close to several sensitive areas including schools and a hospital, officials have consistently refused to submit their proposals to a Health Impact Assessment. Data recently released by the Department for Transport suggests that the whole premise of likely future traffic growth upon which the scheme has been based is seriously flawed.
Aston Hill Says NO! fosters individual, private action; we then share all that we learn. We have encouraged dozens of people to send letters to the press and appear on radio and TV. We have made our own YouTube commentaries and held light-hearted public demonstrations.
November 2013: Prime Minister David Cameron recently visited the Welsh Assembly Government at South Wales, and met with First Minister Carwyn Jones. At the meeting specific economics were discussed and agreed. Later that same day the First Minister announced future projects to be undertaken by the Welsh Government. Among these projects are areas of infrastructure to be reviewed i.e. the M4 (South Wales), the A55 (North Wales) and the A494 (North Wales). Our initial reaction? Here we go again. Whilst we can agree the A55 North Wales is badly in need of an upgrade, our opinion about the A494 remains as it always was. So we're on alert and will continue to monitor all announcements from the Welsh Assembly Government.
27 March 2008: The Public Inquiry Inspector's report has been released. The Inspector has recommended that the proposed expansion be scrapped in its entirety and made recommendations that match our own suggestions exactly.
The Inspector advised that any expansion proposal should be smaller in scale and it was also suggested that alternatives be explored. The Deputy First Minister took the advice of the Inspector. Yet we remain vigilant. We are aware that the Welsh Assembly Government may try to fight this decision. Therefore, we are prepared to continue our campaign for however long it takes.
6 May 2008: Iuean Wyn Jones, Deputy First Minister and Minister for the Economy and Transport, announced a major transport review, strengthening the case against the A494/A55 even further.