Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass
The plans for the Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass are still not fit for their intended purpose. The bypass needs more motor accesses from Caernarfon, and crossings for active travellers. See map of the proposed bypass below.
At present, most of the traffic from the suburbs of Caernarfon will still have to pass through the town centre. We need direct motor access from all the suburbs to the new road - see the map. Without these connections, many motorists from the streets west of the A487 will still have to crawl through the centre of Caernarfon in order to get anywhere. With them, we will have a bypass that really works. Many Caernarfon motorists will get in and out of town much more easily, and the town will be calmer, better for everyone and especially for people on foot or on bicycles.
The bypass cuts across all the main commuting routes into Caernarfon. Many journeys are fairly short distances and many people would choose to cycle on them if the routes were cycle-friendly. They are not welcoming for non-motorized users, and usage is low. To allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross this bypass, with its fast and dense traffic, grade-separated crossings are required at all intersection points. The existing plans provide no safe crossings (though the existing track from Felinheli does go past one end).
Welsh Government policy and intentions
The present plans fail to achieve five intended objectives, and do not comply with the Active Travel Act. The stated objectives of the bypass are to
- reduce journey times between Llanwnda and Plas Menai
- reduce journey times between Llanwnda and Caernarfon
- reduce the number of vehicles passing through residential communities including Llanwnda, Dinas, Bontnewydd and Caernarfon
- reduce accidents on the A487
- Improve the resilience of the network by increasing the amount and/or capacity of alternative routes.
Direct accesses to every suburb of Caernarfon are essential to achieve these intentions.
The Active Travel Act "requires the Welsh Government to take reasonable steps to enhance the provision for walkers and cyclists whenever it invests in highway infrastructure. We will therefore ensure that all future highway construction and improvement schemes consider walking and cycling provision from the outset." The present plans thus do not comply with the Active Travel Act. We hope that the necessary changes will be included, so that the scheme can go ahead as soon as possible. Beicio Bangor and Cycling UK will be happy to advise on the details.