This article first appeared in the Llanelli Star on Wednesday 22nd May 2019
As the bank holiday approaches, many people in Llanelli will be looking forward to a long weekend away with their families and a much-needed break from work. Some will, however, be worried about quite how long they will have to sit in traffic on Sandy Road to get anywhere, while residents on Sandy Road itself will be fed up with the inconvenience and the fumes from the stationary traffic.
I have received countless emails from angry constituents who are fed up with the long tailbacks on Sandy Road, which have gone from bad to worse since the County Council installed traffic lights at the junction with Maesycoed back in 2017. As many have pointed out, tweaks to the phasing of the traffic lights are not enough to fix the problem, and the lack of progress is causing huge frustration.
Lee Waters AM and I are pushing the Council to take stronger action to sort this out as a matter of urgency. We have written to the Head of Highways suggesting that the Council trial switching off the Sandy Road traffic lights on the bank holiday to ease traffic flow at this busy time and help to find a long-term solution. This idea was suggested by many people who completed the consultation on this issue, which we organised last year to crowdsource solutions that the Council could implement.
Lee and I are grateful to the Head of Highways for discussing the consultation results with us and keeping us updated about traffic modelling and ongoing tweaks to the traffic lights. However, this is nothing like enough, and the Council must do more.
It is also important that they take into account the impact that new housing developments, particularly in the Pembrey and Burry Port area, will have on traffic and air pollution on Sandy Road, before deciding to go ahead with them.