POWYS County Council have joined up with fellow authorities and businesses in calling for a unified plan for cross-border road and rail investment which is deemed “critical”.

The group has urged the Union Connectivity Review panel to look at the issues that have led to a delay in multiple projects moving ahead in Mid Wales and the Borders.

Projects affecting Mid Wales include:

• The A5, A458 and the A483 corridor (which includes the recently announced Pant Llanymynech bypass) providing a key economic corridor across the border, essential to Oswestry, Shrewsbury and neighbouring towns in Wales such as Welshpool and Newtown

• The A44 and A438 between Worcestershire and Mid Wales via Herefordshire

• The Cambrian Line from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth via Newtown

• The Heart of Wales Line from Shrewsbury via Craven Arms to Swansea

Powys has joined the Marches LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership), Shropshire Council, Herefordshire Council and Midlands Connect in their follow-up submission to the Union Connectivity Review.

In their letter they state: “These corridors have fallen through cracks in previous investment rounds due to the problems of differing authorities and policies either side of the border.

“We must ensure that this doesn’t happen again in this area where rurality also hinders the investment programme. To overcome this we are working together to highlight the economic significance well connected infrastructure can bring and embrace the opportunity for investment in this region.

“This will only happen if partners across the border commit to working with government to achieve this.

“In light of the above, we seek your support in ensuring the proposed Pan-UK Strategic Transport Network includes the Mid-Wales/Midlands strategic corridors set out in this letter.”

A Union Connectivity Review by Sir Peter Hendy, the Network Rail chairman, is expected to be published by July, and is believed to recommend higher capacity and improved journey times on train travel between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Midlands Connect CEO Maria Machancoses said: “We wanted to write Sir Peter after the release of the interim report on the Union Connectivity Review.

“The report is testament to the depth of work that his team has undertaken and what was delivered in such a short timeframe was deeply impressive. We wholeheartedly welcome the stress placed on the importance of east-west connectivity and access to the emerging freeports.

“We hope that we can make the case to include some of these critical schemes into the final report and we look forward to doing that in the days ahead.”

Mandy Thorn, chair of the Marches LEP, said high-quality cross-border transport connectivity was vital for the economy of the whole area.

“The Marches LEP shares more than 100 miles of border with Wales, and it is essential that we have modern, efficient transport links in place which help the economies either side of it to grow and prosper,” she said.

“These transport links are the economic arteries of our region and we must ensure that they receive the necessary investment to be able to fulfil that strategic role. There is an urgent need to level-up connectivity and ensure that all areas have access to infrastructure which supports and promotes growth.”