Newtown bypass in Powys opens after 70-year wait

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Town's bypass opens after 70-year wait (BBC News)
It was 1949 when highways officials started to look at traffic issues affecting Newtown.

A multi-million pound bypass that has been 70 years in the planning officially opened in Powys on Thursday.

One haulier said Newtown bypass will make a “big difference” due to 45-minute hold-ups in the town, while the local AM said it was a “momentous” day.

The Welsh Government said the road will ease congestion by about 40% in the town centre.

A public notice printed in 1949 shows a bypass was being considered by the former Montgomeryshire County Council.

The four-mile (6.4km) road runs to the south of the town with two lanes in one direction and one in the opposite direction, to provide overtaking points.

Never thought I’d see the day. Back when she used to work in Newtown, Claire would routinely be delayed on her journey home by traffic passing through the town that could quite-justifiably have gone around it were it not for the lack of a decent trunk road, and she’d bemoan the continuing absence of the long-promised bypass. That was like 15 years ago… I can’t imagine what it’s been like for the people who’ve lived in Newtown, waiting for the bypass to be built, for their entire life.

In the time it’s taken to build this bypass, people who’ve been too young to drive have heard about it, grown up, had children of their own, and those people have had children who are now old enough to drive. The mind boggles.

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