The motion below was overwhelmingly passed by council without amendment:
‘This Council recognises that the construction of the Newtown by-pass creates a major transportation link comparable in importance to the connection of the town to canal and railway links in the 19th century. The by-pass 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.’
Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council will now urge Welsh Government to formally name the by-pass. The motion was also publicly supported at the meeting by local resident Anna Pugh.
Cllr David Selby made a statement in the meeting in support of his motion before the vote was taken.
“The By Pass 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. The difference with the By Pass is that it is designed to take people around our town rather than come to it. Hence the need to know our By Pass by more than a road number. If important buildings, railway engines and even bridges can have a name than this magnificent engineering feat 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 “breathe 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.”