A multi-million-pound road improvement scheme “will create worse traffic jams” and “cause higher levels of local pollution”, Ceredigion Green Party has warned.

As reported in the Cambrian News, changes to the main road layout between Aberystwyth and Aberaeron are being proposed, including a roundabout at Llanrhystud and an extra lane at Aberarth.

The schemes - which will cost a combined £23 million – have been proposed by the Welsh Government and the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency, to tackle ‘pinch points’ and collision blackspots on the busy stretch of the A487.

The £5.95m scheme at Llanrhystud will see a new roundabout on the outskirts of the village with an extra lane for a section of the road between Llanrhystud and Llanon.

And at Aberarth, a £17.4m scheme would widen the road and add an extra lane.

The plans, however, have not been welcomed by environmental campaigners with Ceredigion Green Party saying it “strongly objects” to the schemes.

Green Party candidate Harry Hayfield, who lives in Llanrhystud, said that while these schemes “will speed up journeys for a few motorists on very short sections of the A487”, it will mean “traffic will grind to a halt in Llanon and in Aberarth as both are natural bottlenecks.”

“These tiny gains will create worse traffic jams in Llanon and Aberarth, causing higher local levels of pollution,”­ he said.

“In any case, what is the point of spending millions of pounds to save 60 seconds on a two hour journey?

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

While the scheme will see new ‘active travel’ footpaths and cycleways installed, Mr Hayfield said that “cycle lanes and footpaths ought to be instated in their own rights and should follow the whole length of the A487, not just the ‘improved’ part as there will still be dangerous sections between.”

“The junction in Llanrhystud where the proposed roundabout would be is currently a very quiet junction, unlike the junction where the B4337 joins the A487,” Mr Hayfield­ added.

“It appears that it will become more dangerous for pedestrians to cross after these so-called ‘improvements’ in that part of Llanrhystud, where a reasonably good crossing was built quite recently.

“I have spoken to local pedestrians and they worry that this will eventually be removed as part of the roundabout installation.”

A report into the plans revealed that improvements were needed to curb collisions amid “driver frustration” at a lack of overtaking opportunities.

There have been 11 collisions along the stretch in Aberarth in the past five years, and 20 at Llanrhystud, the report said, making the sites a “priority”.

The plans are currently out to consultation.