LLANELLI’S MP and AM urged officers from Carmarthenshire County Council to take stronger action on Sandy Road’s traffic problems at a meeting last week.
Nia Griffith MP, Lee Waters AM and Pwll Councillor Penny Edwards have been raising residents’ concerns about the appalling traffic on Sandy Road since the lights were installed last year.
In order to crowdsource potential solutions to the problem, they organised a public consultation which over 400 people responded to, and the results of this were presented to the Council six months ago.
Following a year in which local residents, commuters and students have suffered from the unacceptably long tailbacks on Sandy Road, the Council have now responded to the consultation.
Ms Griffith, Mr Waters and Cllr Edwards, along with her fellow Hengoed councillor Susan Phillips and Burry Port councillors John James and Amanda Fox, met with the Council’s Head of Highways and Director of Environment last Friday (Sep 28) to discuss the findings and push for better solutions to the problem.
Llanelli’s MP and AM also called for a halt on new developments until the Council can sort out how to deal with increased traffic congestion. In the meeting, the Council officers agreed to do a full study looking at a new entrance to the Parc-y-Strade housing estate from the Sandpiper roundabout and work with local schools and colleges on travel plans. However, they argued that their tweaks to the Sandy Road lights in recent months had made a difference to the traffic flow.
Commenting on their response, Nia Griffith MP said: “In response to all those residents who suggested tweaking the traffic lights, the Council tell us that they have done so, but this is clearly not making enough of a difference. The tail-backs are still completely unacceptable and County officers must ensure that the lights give more priority to the main road.
“It is clear from our consultation that people expect the Council to sort this problem out urgently. There are also serious concerns about the traffic impact of new housing developments. Every time a planning application is made for more houses in the Pembrey or Burry Port area, the Highways department must spell out to the Planning Committee what the impact will be on Sandy Road.”
Lee Waters AM added: “The council still has a long way to go to sort out the Sandy Rd traffic problems. We presented the results of our consultation six months ago, and we’re only beginning to look at solutions with the council. In the consultation process we heard the suggestion of an additional exit from the new Stradey estate into the Sandy Rd roundabout, and the County Council has now agreed to do a feasibility study on this.
“We have asked for modelling of traffic across the whole of Llanelli to take into account the impact of potential development. I’d also like to see more work done on travel plans with the educational establishments, to minimise congestion at peak times and get more pupils and students on public transport.
“In the long term, we need to dramatically improve bus services in and around Llanelli, so services meet people’s everyday needs. This will free up road capacity for those that really need to travel by car. The current situation is not acceptable and we will not put up with a complacent attitude towards it. People deserve better than this.”