A £68million scheme to improve the A477 between St Clears and Red Roses will be officially opened by Transport Minister Edwina Hart today (Wednesday).

The Welsh Government says the new road will improve safety and journey times along the busy route which, together with the A40, forms part of the Trans European Road Network linking West Wales with the rest of Europe.

The route is also the main access to the tourist destinations of south Pembrokeshire, including Tenby and Saundersfoot, as well as ferry traffic to and from the Republic of Ireland using the port at Pembroke Dock.

Mrs Hart said: “I am very pleased to be able to open this important new road. As well as being part of a vital trans-European road network, this improved section of the A477 will provide more efficient road connections to the important tourism and energy enterprises in Pembrokeshire, and enable more effective connections with Ireland via Pembroke Dock.

“This project also brings many other benefits to road users and local people by improving road safety, creating bypasses for Llanddowror and Red Roses and providing new walking and cycling routes.

“Improving our transport infrastructure is critical to improving Wales’ economic competiveness and this new road is another example of the Welsh Government’s commitment to that aim. I congratulate everyone involved on the delivery of this improvement project, which I am sure will be appreciated by many in years to come.”

The new section consists of 8.7km of new road between Pont Newydd Bridge, east of Llanddowror, and Red Roses, and a further 0.9km of improvements between Pont Newydd Bridge and the St Clears roundabout.

Over half the length of this section will now carry three lanes offering overtaking opportunities in both directions. The project includes the construction of 17 structures (bridges, underpasses and culverts) to maintain the local highway, public footpath, equestrian network and protect wildlife. A foot and cycle path has also been built to link the communities of St Clears and Llanddowror.