A year after the Newtown bypass opened, residents say it has improved town life.

Today (February 14) marks a year since the bypass opened and ahead of the anniversary the County Times asked readers what impact they felt the development had made on Newtown, and they gave an overwhelmingly positive response.

Many feel the town has lost the tag of being the ‘Mid Wales car park’, and the ease of congestion has encouraged people to spend more time in Newtown without the fear of being caught in a jam.

“There has been widespread support for the bypass from the local community and there is already anecdotal evidence that It has begun to have a role in transforming the economies of not only Newtown but Montgomeryshire’s other major towns such as Llanidloes and Machynlleth,” Montgomeryshire AM Russell George said.

“I have already heard of businesses who are preparing expansion plans as a result of the bypass and while there have been isolated teething problems and a few safety concerns which have been brought to my attention over the last year, there has been almost universal support for a project which took 70 years to become a reality.”

County Times:

Barrie Thomson, who ran the High Street Delicatessen in Newtown, called it a “big positive” for the area.

He said: “From a small business perspective on the High Street, all good.

“We welcomed folk who’d never wanted to come out of the flow of traffic prior to the bypass for fear of never getting going again. Day to day ‘rat run’ congestion on the High Street feels reduced.”

Sandra Jones, who lives on Llanidloes Road, praised the bypass as “absolutely fantastic”.

“I can now leave my house in the car without waiting ages for a gap in the traffic,” she said.

The long-awaited bypass was built by the Welsh Government at a cost of more than £80 million.

Stuart Owen said the traffic congestion prior to the bypass opening was “throttling the life out of Newtown, now we breath easy again.”

While Terri Allen, of Criggion, said it is an “incredible bit of engineering/building” by Alun Griffiths Contractors. “My five-year-old says it’s like flying in a car”.