RESIDENTS in Machynlleth and the surrounding area are feeling frustrated with the lack of progress on building a new bridge to cross the Dyfi river.

It had been expected that building a new bridge to alleviate road congestion in Machynlleth would start before the end of the year.

But Powys County Councillor for Machynlleth, Michael Williams, has received confirmation from the Welsh Goverenment's Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates AM, that there is no start date yet.

And a possible public inquiry might also be needed before any work starts.

Cllr Michael Williams said: "Given the complete frustration felt by a great number of my constituents I asked the cabinet secretary for a meaningful date for work to start on the new Dyfi bridge and associated works.

"The A487 is a seriously important part of the Welsh north-south and east-west trunk road network.

"The existing bridge was built in 1805 and is an obvious pinch point in the network.

"Clearly the bridge was not designed to carry the volume and type of heavy traffic that is seen in this day and age.

"There can be no doubt whatsoever that Machynlleth needs the long overdue structural improvement and I don't really understand why we are continuing to wait."

Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates AM, said: "I recognise a new Dyfi Bridge will improve safety and network resilience whilst dealing with the flood risk in the area.

"It will also help ensure Machynlleth remains a vibrant town and that the historic Grade II listed original bridge can remain in place."

Mr Skates went on to explain that the Government had consulted with land owners, both Powys and Gwynedd Councils and Network Rail, on the plans for the new section of the A487 including the bridge north of Machynlleth.

Mr Skates, added: "We are in the final stage of this process following the publication of draft orders last year and a decision on whether a public inquiry is required will be taken before the end of the year.

"Until such time I am unable to confirm a specific date for the start of works."

In October 2017 an exhibition of the plans for the new bridge estimated to cost £30 million was held in the town.

It had been expected to be open by the summer of 2020.