BRWYDR Brynglas (1402), was a pivotal point in Owain Glyndwr’s fight for Welsh Independence.
That victory over Sir Edmund Mortimer’s army near Knighton established a truly national dimension to the struggle, and then led to the first Welsh parliaments convened at Harlech and Machynlleth.
Now a new Battle of Brynglas is upon us with UK prime minister Boris Johnson threatening to by-pass Y Senedd completely and build a new M4 relief road.
Even though Welsh First Minister Make Drakeford took the decision to reject the plan over 6 months ago, partly to protect the historic Gwent Levels waterways.
Johnson’s patronising ‘We’ll put a Vicks up the nostrils of the Welsh dragon’ comments in Parliament might have cheered his Tory sycophants but his words went down like a rat sandwich here.
GWLAD’s leader Gwyn Wigley Evans said the current Brynglas battle represented another crunch time for Wales.
‘Boris Johnson wants to rule over our Senedd, plain and simple. This is payback from him for the fact that Wales has appeared competent during the recent crisis, compared to the absolute chaos at Westminster’ said Mr.Evans.
‘It’s now time to look after our own shop. We really can do a better job. People already do in their daily lives, with good, sensible and practical answers on a tight buget. We can replicate this on a national level.’
As far as the traffic problems at the Brynglas tunnels are concerned, Mr. Evans said the public inquiry last year did not address the central issue of how to solve those issues.
`It’s a commuter problem, morning and night, and a 15% reduction in those commuter levels would solve it’ he said.
He added that proper investment in public transport, buses, trains, trams could achieve this.
‘But it’s also the case that people’s working patterns are now going to shift dramatically, with more being able to work from home. So, there’s likely to be less commuters on the roads anyway’.
As a party, GWLAD have also proposed either upgrading the present road, or building a new road to link the Severn Bridge traffic with the Heads of the Valleys Road.
This could cater for traffic from England for Neath, Swansea and the West, which could then avoid the Newport area entirely.
The Brynglas tunnels could then comprise solely of direct traffic for Newport, Cardiff, the southern Valleys, Port Talbot and Bridgend.
The battle to protect the precious Gwent Levels from being tarmacked over by Boris Johnson’s bulldozers is something which should engage all of us in Wales.
And the associated issue of protecting Welsh democracy could also provide the same fillip to the Independence campaign as that original Brynglas victory all those years ago.