A NORTH Wales Senedd Member has called on the Welsh Government to find the funds needed to repair a road that was partially swept away in a landslide.

The B5605 at Newbridge, near Wrexham, was severely damaged by Storm Christoph back in January.

Now North Wales MS Llyr Gruffydd says that residents have been left in limbo, with the road remaining closed for six months now.

Serious problems

He says that the closure is causing serious problems for local residents trying to get to work and take children to school and he fears it could rumble on for years.

Llyr Gruffydd is now calling on the Welsh transport minister Lee Waters to find the necessary funding to repair the road.

In June, Wrexham Council said that the repair of the road was a priority for the council, but Llyr Gruffydd says that he has seen a letter from climate change minister Julie James, stating that the council won't be able to apply for the necessary funding until April 2022.

Important link

Llyr Gruffydd said: "The road through Newbridge is an important link for local people of course but it's also an important route for traffic when the nearby A483 trunk road has to be closed for any number of issues.

"The storm in January meant that the River Dee swept away part of the land below the road. The repairs needed are extensive - I've seen one estimate at more than £1m - and I would expect the Welsh Government to support the council financially to undertake that kind of major work.

"So it's very concerning to see a letter dated July 14 from Julie James, the climate change minister, telling the local MS that the repair work is not eligible for flood relief funding because it wouldn't protect properties. She goes on to say that the road repair fund is fully allocated for this year and that the council will only be able to apply for this after April 2022.

"Local residents have had to put up with this for six months already and have told me that the closed road is causing serious problems in terms of getting to work, taking children to school and coping with closures to the A483.

"My fear is that this reluctance to fund repairs could mean delays lasting years before it's put right. It's completely unacceptable - this is not a minor road, it's an important local through road and also has strategic importance for keeping traffic flowing north-south along the A483 trunk road between Ruabon and the Halton roundabout.

"I'm awaiting answers from the transport minister on this matter but for residents from the affected areas of Chirk, Newbridge, Cefn Mawr, Rhosymedre and Pentre this is an emergency. It's completely unacceptable that they are left in limbo by the Welsh Government."

Lobbied Welsh Government

Cllr David Bithell, lead member for environment and transport and deputy leader of Wrexham Council, said: “We applied for funding following Storm Christoph as requested by Welsh Government. This funding was prioritised for internal flooding schemes, in this case, there was no internal flooding only major infrastructure damage. At the time we were following the guidance supplied from Welsh Government to local authorities.

“I have written to the Minster for Climate Change and local MP and MS who are all supportive and have lobbied Welsh Government. We continue to work with officials to seek transport related funding to re-open the road and have carried out extensive geotechnical surveys of the area.”