NEWTOWN and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council, have confirmed that they have been approached by the Welsh Government to consult with residents on possibly naming parts of the Newtown bypass.

Last month, Transport and Economy Transport Secretary, Ken Skates, broke the hearts of campaigners who want to see the bypass formally named after textile businessman and philanthropist Robert Owen when it's opened next year.

But in his letter, Mr Skates gave them a glimmer of hope that parts of the scheme such as bridges could be named as a way of marketing Newtown to the wider world.

Story boards describing Newtown's history could also be placed at layby's along the four mile scheme.

Newtown town Council, clerk Ed Humphreys, said: "We have received the correspondence from Mr Skates asking us to consult with the residents.

"As we don't have a full council meeting this month, we'll probably send it to the Economy and Events committee for discussion and the consultation can be started from there.

"There needs to be a wider benefit to Newtown from the new road to promote the area."

Mr Humphreys added: "It's about having people who drive past Newtown on their way to somewhere, see a name and wonder who they were?

"And come back and find out more."

In recent weeks, businessman Peter Webber and Ann Evans of the Newtown Local History Group have been campaigning for statues of "Powys Pioneers", Robert Owen, Pryce Pryce-Jones, Laura Ashley and David Davies Llandinam to be placed on roundabouts along the route.

Despite gaining backing of Newtown Town Council - he has now been told by government officials that his idea is not possible and Mr Webber is now looking at alternatives:

Mr Webber said: "We met with the Welsh Government Consultants whom advised that any structure on a highway could be seen as a health and safety hazard.

"We have therefore aborted the idea of statues in preference for a lamppost in the centre of each roundabout that will carry a unique message and arouse interest."

The petition on the Welsh Government website to name the bypass after the Brimmon Oak closed on July 2 and had been signed by 402 people.

As well as the "Powys Pioneers" other names that have been mentioned are Wales international footballer, George Latham and Olympian Max Woosnam.