MULTI-MILLION pound plans for road schemes in Ceredigion and Powys look set to hit the buffers, after the Welsh Government announced a freeze on all road-building projects in a bid to tackle climate change.

The deputy minister for climate change, Lee Waters announced a freeze on new road building projects, while a “review of highway schemes across Wales” is carried out.

The review puts potential plans for road safety and over-taking lines on the main A487 in south Ceredigion and A470 in Powys in jeopardy.

The four sets of plans, for Llanrhystud and Aberarth in Ceredigion, and Llangurig and Llanidloes in Powys, had been the subject of a public consultation which closed earlier this year.

The outcome of those consultations is still awaited, but the plans may now not go ahead.

The A487 plans, mooted to cost a total of more than £20m were set in motion to tackle “driver frustration” due to a “lack of overtaking opportunities over a long distance.

The scheme would widen and add an extra lane to the A487 at Aberarth, alongside a development to build a roundabout and overtaking lane at Llanrhystud.

A separate £5.1m scheme suggested the building of an overtaking line between Llangurig and Llanidloes off the roundabout, which were supported by local councillors.

Speaking in the Senedd on Tuesday, Mr Waters said: “We need a shift away from spending money on projects that encourage more people to drive and spend more money on maintaining our roads and investing in real alternatives that give people a meaningful choice.”

The review is expected to consider how we can shift spending towards better maintaining our existing roads, rather than building new ones, and look at all proposed road investments, whether funded directly by the Welsh Government or indirectly by grants.

A Welsh Government spokesperson told the Cambrian News: “All road programmes and projects that we fund, except those under construction, are potentially in scope under the roads review. The schemes affected will be confirmed by the review panel in due course.”

The A487 plans were not welcomed by environmental campaigners when they were announced earlier this year, with Ceredigion Green Party saying it “strongly objects” to the schemes.

Harry Hayfield, who lives in Llanrhystud and stood for the Green Party at the Senedd elections, said that while these schemes “will speed up journeys for a few motorists on very short sections of the A487”, the “tiny gains will create worse traffic jams in Llanon and Aberarth, causing higher local levels of pollution.”

“Improvements to public transport and cycle networks will achieve our aims to get to net zero, not spending £23m on road works,” he said.

The freeze on road building projects has been welcomed by Sophie Howe, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, as well as Plaid Cymru, who also warned that communities that are “long overdue” infrastructure investment could be left behind.

• The construction of the new £46m Dyfi Bridge is already under way, and therefore this scheme is not affected by the freeze.