Pant bypass – update

Road through Pant, Shropshire

2020 Update – In the Budget in March 2020 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced funding towards the Pant and Llanymynech bypass project. The funding will enable consultation on the plans and there are still many issues to be addressed including the actual route of any new road.

As in previous consultations, there are many views in favour of a bypass, including from local MPs, Shropshire Council and Llanymynech and Pant Parish Council but residents will be able to put their comments forward about any negative aspects, not least the replacement of a 30 mph road with a much louder one with a probable national speed limit.

PROs cited include: Less traffic through the villages, fewer accidents and delays, less pollution along the A483 and a quieter village.

However, so villages list CONs including building on a floodplain, increasing noise in the environment due to higher speed traffic and less potential trade at the pub and shop.

Once details of the consultation are announced, and how residents can have their say, we will publish them here.


Road through PantOCTOBER 2014: News that the Welsh Assembly Government has commissioned a new feasibility study has reignited the prospect of a bypass for Pant and Llanymynech.

It was 13 years ago that the UK and Welsh Governments first agreed to put forward bypass plans to reduce traffic through the two villages on the A483, but nothing came of them. Now, Welsh Assembly Transport Minister Edwina Hart AM has given the go-ahead for a new report, which could lead to a Pant bypass.

The news has been welcomed by Owen Paterson, MP for North Shropshire, William Powell, Liberal Democrat AM for Mid and West Wales, Llanymynech Councillor Arthur Walpole and Dilys Gaskill, Chair of Llanymynech and Pant Parish Council.

A bypass brings with it the prospect of safer roads and less noise for the village, but the downside may be that local businesses which rely on the passing traffic may suffer and even close. What do you think?

Please do let us know your thoughts on the bypass and/or what else could be done to improve our village!

 

Could trains come back to Pant and Llanymynech?

Penygarreg Halt in Pant Shropshire

Recently, there have been some press reports about the possibility of reopening the railway between Welshpool and Gobowen.

Before the Beeching cuts, the line linked Pant and Llanymynech – as well as Llynclys – to Gobowen, Welshpool and beyond. Now, there are calls for a feasibility study to be commissioned to build the case and assess the viability of reopening the old line.

Could Pant once again get a train station thanks to the Welsh Government?

In this piece for Pant.Today, Helen Mary Jones, Plaid Cymru AM for Mid and West Wales, outlines the case for a reopening of the old line between Welshpool and Gobowen.

Helen Mary Jones AM
Helen Mary Jones AM

“More than half a century after its closure, the line from Welshpool to Gobowen remains unused and relatively free from development. It poses a clear opportunity for the Welsh and UK Governments to improve the public transport network, and create more prosperity in the region.

Aside from the economic and environmental benefits which would come with such a project, this line would greatly assist those in need of regular access to both Gobowen Hospital and the Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

This could be part of the Mid Wales Growth Deal or a broader Welsh transport strategy, these links would provide a much-needed lifeline to people living in the area who need access to important healthcare services. I am campaigning with my Plaid Cymru colleague on Powys Council, Councillor Elwyn Vaughan, for a study into the reopening of the rail line.

This is a key issue when public transport is a lifeline for so many people in Wales, some of whom live with no access to a car as a means of transport, they are left reliant on the public transport network for all of their travel.

A switch to better rail links would cut congestion and pollution on our roads. The Labour led Welsh Government should improve rail links, such as this one, to update the antiquated transport system. We also need the UK Government in London to provide much needed funds to boost our rail links.

We have seen the possibilities available if we re-establish the rail link between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen, following the publication of a technical feasibility study. This study was supported by Plaid Cymru.

That report has published a route and costings for the plan as well as an outline of the environmental and economic challenges to be overcome, including a cost of £775 million.

To build a better connected Wales it would be good to have a similar study for the Welshpool to Gobowen line.”

Welshpool event focuses on Montgomery Canal

Horse drawn canal boat

The Canal & River Trust charity is organising a weekend of fun waterway activities at Welshpool Wharf, as part of the Welshpool Transport Festival on 23-24 June.

Horse drawn canal boatAlthough taking place in Welshpool, the event is open to all and is taking place alongside a music festival – Music for the Monty – which is seeking to raise funds for and publicity about the restoration of the section of canal through Pant to Llanymynech.

Free canoeing and coracle taster sessions will be on offer on the Saturday (10am-5pm) and paddle boarding taster sessions on the Sunday (10am-2pm). Narrowboat trips, also free courtesy of the Heulwen Trust, will be available throughout the weekend.

These activities and other community events are being promoted by the Canal & River Trust, which manages 2,000 miles of the nation’s waterways, as part of the Heritage Lottery-funded project to restore the Montgomery Canal.

Music will keep everything swinging along throughout the weekend and a special charity concert, in aid of the Montgomery Canal restoration, will be held on Saturday night in the Assembly Room at Welshpool Town Hall. Advance tickets at the special price of £8.00 each are available through the website http://restorethemontgomerycanal.uk/tickets.html or £10 on the door.

CanoeingAlso, on both days will be a rare opportunity to enjoy a horse-drawn boat trip along this section of the Montgomery Canal. For the first time in years, this unique mode of transport will take visitors along the Welsh stretch of the waterway. Trips are heavily subsidised and cost only £2 per person. Tickets are available on the day from the bottom of Church Street Car Park near the canalside – postcode SY21 7DD.

Sylvia Edwards, Montgomery Canal community development officer with the Trust, explained: “This special weekend offers visitors a marvellous chance to try out a range of exciting activities on water. Research proves people feel happier and healthier by water so it’s a great event for introducing visitors and local residents to opportunities for enjoying leisure time on the beautiful waterway.

“For people with a more competitive streak, we are hosting a coracle relay race at 2pm on the Saturday. This is free to enter. No previous experience is necessary as participants will have chance to practise in the morning up to midday. We hope lots of supporters will come down for the race to cheer on the competitors.”

Teams of four need to have registered their coracle race entry by 21 June by emailing Sylvia.Edwards@canalrivertrust.org.uk or calling 07787 508 635.

This weekend of community activities are part of a much larger HLF-funded £4 million project which involves the creation of a new three-hectare wildlife habitat within Aston Locks Nature Reserve and navigation restored to 1¼ miles of the canal, from Maesbury to Crickheath.

A dedicated turning point for narrowboats, known as a ‘winding hole’, is also being created, enabling boats to return to the area for the first time since 1936 when the canal was closed. The project includes access improvements to the canal and nearly five miles of towpath upgraded. The Canal & River Trust works with 15 partner organisations which make up the Montgomery Canal Partnership. The Partnership aims to restore the canal fully within the next decade as a haven for people and nature.

For more information about the Montgomery Canal restoration why not visit www.restorethemontgomerycanal.uk.

Photo credit: Cracker photo by Dave Barker at Bywater Cruises.

Concerted efforts on the Montgomery Canal through Pant

Montgomery Canal in Pant, Shropshire

Concerted efforts on the Montgomery Canal.

Efforts to see the Montgomery Canal restored through Pant to meet up with the canal at Llanymynech Wharf have been turned up a notch with the launch of an ambitious campaign to raise two miles of £2 coins totalling £250,000.

Llanymynech Wharf Visitor CentreResidents of Pant and the neighbouring area will be familiar with the aim of restoring the Montgomery Canal and reopening it to create a vibrant waterway and tourist amenity. But due to the work involved, environmental considerations and the large amount of money required, progress might appear to be slow. One local residents said recently that 20 years ago he was told the canal would be reopened in 10 years.

Significant work has been undertaken on the canal with nearly half of the canal now ‘in water’ – seven miles from Maesbury to Welsh Frankton in Shropshire and 12 miles either side of Welshpool.Canal & River Trust - Pant Today A recent £2.5 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant and money from others has meant that there is now money to restore the canal to Crickheath, which just leaves two miles to complete the Shropshire section.

The group Friends of the Montgomery Canal are now working with the Shropshire Union Canal Society and the Shrewsbury District & North Wales branch of the Inland Waterways Association to raise the funds and public support to rebuild School House Bridge on the outskirts of the village, which was flattened when the canal fell into disrepair in the 1930s.
Along with planned work to remove the parts of bridge 89 that block the canal, near Station Road in Pant, locals will see an increase in works in and around the canal. This part of the work is currently subject to planning permission and John Dodwell, Chair of the Montgomery Canal Partnership, says that residents’ comments would really help to bring the matter to the attention of the council. Comments can be made by logging on at http://new.shropshire.gov.uk/planning and searching for 17/01208/FUL.

If the application is successful, this clearance work will be undertaken in July of this year and disruption to local residents will be kept to a minimum. Approximately four lorries’ worth of spoil will need to be removed and collected from Station Road.

There is now a real possibility that the derelict Montgomery Canal through Pant may be repaired and reopened, creating an important local amenity and tourist destination. Current estimates of the amount of money needed to complete the reopening however are around £5 million so the canal will not open in the next few years, but it is hoped that it will not take another 10 years to complete. During 2018 locals in Pant will see an intense period of some works on the canal and towpath and the more activity and involvement undertaken by the general public, the greater the impetus for the restoration to take place more quickly.

For more information and to pledge your £2 towards restoring the Montgomery Canal through Pant, please visit www.RestoreTheMontgomeryCanal.uk.