Motorists face a 30-mile detour for a three-mile stretch of road works when the A489 Newtown to Kerry road closes for two weeks next month.

The official diversion route will take drivers from the village of Kerry, to Churchstoke, up to Welshpool and then down the A483 to Newtown.

The road will be closed on either side of Lower Brimmon Farm from Monday, April 16 to allow complex alignment work between the new bypass and the A489 Newtown to Kerry Road.

A public meeting held at Kerry Village Hall on February 7 was attended by representatives from the bypass contactors, Alun Griffiths, Dyfed-Powys Police and Powys County Council.

The two week closure for road works includes building a roundabout, new surfacing and an embankment on the south end of the bypass. The challenge for contractors is to join the existing route with the bypass by levelling the road.

The alternative plan was a 12 week two-way traffic system similar to Pool Road and Llanidloes Road. Closing the road is seen as a safer option for both motorists and road workers with numerous diversion routes available.

But not all vehicles, such as some heavy goods and public service vehicles, are suitable for the narrow back lanes like the Dingle between Kerry and Abermule.

According to the senior project manager, Nick Cleary, the diversion route, which has been agreed by the local authority, needs to be the same standard road as the road that is closing. In this instance, the official diversion is through Churchstoke, up to Welshpool and down to Newtown. The route is a 45 minute detour compared to six minutes.

Local knowledge will mean traffic will divert to the back roads between Kerry and Abermule, and Dolfor. Contractors will not be signposting unofficial diversion routes.

All emergency services have been consulted about the road closure. Mr Cleary said at the public meeting that it may be possible to allow emergency services through the road works at certain stages.

Wern Ddu Lane will only be accessible to residents, cyclists and pedestrians. There will also be Dyfed-Powys Police presence monitoring the lane.

Additional signage will be in place on top of the Vastre to warn HGVs of their last chance to turn around and follow the official diversion route.

Alun Griffiths Contractors said they will carry out condition service in the coming weeks on all diversion routes, including sweeping the roads and to ensure the maximum width is available for passing vehicles. Any excessive damage caused by the diversions will be repaired.

They said they will be working extended hours and weekends, and are confident that the measures will ensure that the works will be completed within the two week closure. However the work is dependent on good weather and subject to unknown ground conditions.

Councillor Kath Roberts-Jones for Kerry said at the meeting: “This upcoming closure is going to be an inconvenience for most of us, in particular for the school children. I would hope the majority of you will agree that it may not be easy but it would seem to me to be the best answer.

"Let’s take the hit for a couple of weeks, get it done and dusted and then we can carry on as normal.

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