Anglesey: Plans to axe new bridge an ‘insult’ to locals

Britannia Bridge, Anglesey

The Welsh government has been urged to scrap plans for a new bridge to Anglesey

Axing plans for a third bridge between Anglesey and the mainland is an “insult” to islanders, an MS has said.

A roads review has recommended the scheme is parked, despite acknowledging congestion and delays made Anglesey less attractive to investors.

Ynys Mon MS Rhun Ap Iorwerth said another Menai Strait crossing was “desperately needed” while residents have been left frustrated.

However, the Welsh government has yet to commit to the recommendation.

It said, in December, that a new crossing was likely following the temporary closure of the Menai Bridge.

The recommended axing came with the news all major road building in Wales has been scrapped over environmental concerns.

Mr Iorwerth said: “Labour’s cancellation of the desperately needed third Menai crossing is an insult to the people of Ynys Môn.

“I support the principle of raising the bar for which road schemes should be able to progress in this era of climate concern. But a third bridge is about the basic resilience of our transport network.

“The review doesn’t even mention the impact of the closure of the Menai suspension bridge over recent months. Did they not see for themselves what ‘lack of resilience’ looks like?”

Virginia Crosbie, Conservative MP for Ynys Mon, said the decision shows a “lack of common sense and long-term vision” from the Welsh government.

“This will systematically destroy the Welsh economy,” she said.

“Our roads are getting greener because we are banning diesel and the sale of petrol cars by 2030.

“We need to be looking at electric vehicles and investing in more charging points, grants and scrappage schemes.”

More than 42,300 vehicles are estimated to use the two bridges over the Menai Strait from Anglesey every day – with numbers travelling over the A55 Britannia bridge rising over the last decade.

graph showing average daily traffic on Menai bridges

graph showing average daily traffic on Menai bridges

Optician Jo Allport has her business on the island but commutes from Abergele, in Conwy county.

She said a third crossing was “desperately needed”.

“If there is a problem on the bridge then the impact is detrimental. For our patients and customers, it keeps them on the island.”

Jo Allport

Optician Jo Allport said a third crossing was “desperately needed”

Rhian Sinnott, who runs Llangefni gift shop Cain, claimed if one of the bridges closes it created “havoc” on the island.

She said: “There’s just too much traffic and that stops a lot of customers crossing over on to the island.

“It’s the same for us who live on the island, we think twice before crossing to Bangor.”

Rhian Sinnot

Shopkeeper Rhian Sinnott said when one bridge closes it created “havoc”

Also scrapped is the so-called ‘red route’ through Flintshire.

That will be replaced with projects to cut pollution and ease congestion on existing roads.

Robert Hodgkinson, who farms Tyn y Coed, near Northop, said the planned new road would have gone straight through his land.

“It’s such a relief to find out common sense has prevailed at long last,” he said.

Adrian Lloyd Jones, of North Wales Wildlife Trust, said bats, barn owls, badgers and otters would have all been affected by the road.

“We are overjoyed that the hard work that we’ve done campaigning has worked,” he said.

Ian Roberts

Flintshire Council leader, Ian Roberts, was disappointed the “red route” was being scrapped

But Flintshire Council leader Ian Roberts was disappointed with the decision and concerned no alternative plans were being put forward.

“We need a package of measures and funding to alleviate the impact of traffic congestion on the local economy, improve air quality and invest in transport infrastructure and services.”

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