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Bypass should be named after town's famous son

Created on 31/05/2018 @ 13:30
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Newtown's bypass should be named after one of the town's most famous and influential sons, town councillors have said.

Newtown Town Council has passed a motion supporting a campaign to name the bypass after social reformer Robert Owen, a founder of the Co-Operative movement who was born and died in the town.

The motion was proposed by Cllr David Selby. It stated: "This council recognises that the construction of the Newtown bypass creates a major transportation link comparable in importance to the connection of the town to canal and railway links in the 19th century. The bypass is of major national and local importance.

"This Council therefore urges the Welsh Government to name the By-Pass ‘Ffordd Robert Owen Way’ in recognition of Robert Owen’s international, national and local significance as a social reformer and an inspiration for the foundation of the co-operative movement.

"The Council urges our Assembly Member and Powys County Council to support this call."
The motion was passed by the Council at its meeting on Tuesday.

Another campaign is urging people to sign a petition naming it after the 500-year-old Brimmon Oak tree that was saved when the route of the bypass was moved slightly to ensure its root were not cut.

The tree was named Wales and European tree of the year.

Cllr David Selby when proposing the motion said the following: “The bypass is the largest infrastructure project since the development board works over 40 years ago.

"This time next year we should start to see the reduction in through traffic, particularly lorries and the  residents of New Road, Pool Road and Llanidloes Road should see the reduction in fumes and pollution.
"This new road is biggest change to our town’s transport since the arrival of the canal and the railway in the 19th century."

He added: "The difference with the bypass is that it is designed to take people around our town rather than come to it. Hence the need to know our bypass by more than a road number.  If important buildings, railway engines and even bridges can have a name than this magnificent engineering feet should also have a name.

We should name the By Pass after the most celebrated and internationally known resident, Robert Owen.  The new By Pass gives the town the opportunity to “breath again” – but also the need to market its self.  The new Ffordd Robert Owen Way could be part of that marketing.  I urge the Welsh Assembly to support this call and name the new road.”

Photo: Part of the bypass under construction near to the site of the Brimmon Oak tree (Photo: Google Street View)

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