Newtown Bypass

The Newtown bypass opened early and on budget

Two new by-passes have opened in recent days, both promising to significantly improve road transport links in their respective regions.

The first to open, on St Valentine’s Day, was in mid-Wales. The 4-mile Newtown bypass incorporates three bridges, four underpasses and five roundabouts, and while not without its detractors among affected local landowners, will eliminate the regular 45-minute crawl through the town for traffic travelling from North West Wales to the south of the nation. In particular, it will prevent the situation where vehicles over 4m high had to travel through a housing estate, which otherwise has a 7.5-tonne limit, to follow the A483. The builder, Abergavenny-based Alun Griffiths (Contractors) completed the three-year project on budget and ahead of schedule.

In Scotland, the final 4.5-mile section of the Aberdeen North Western Peripheral Route opened five days later. By comparison, this bypass built by a consortium comprising Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try and, until its demise, Carillion, went less smoothly. The opening was almost a year late and more than a third over its original £745m budget. Factors in the delay include inclement weather, the collapse of Carillion and technical issues with the River Don crossing. Discussions regarding the overspend are likely to continue for some time.