New bridge hailed as a ‘symbol’ of the future of road building in Wales
A new bridge has been described as a visual symbol of how Wales will ‘raise the bar’ when it comes to road building.
The new Dyfi bridge, near Machynlleth, is one of the first projects to be completed after the Welsh Government’s response to the independent roads review that took place in February last year.
In its response to the review, the Welsh Government committed to only investing in future road building projects that reduce carbon emissions and support a shift to public transport, walking and cycling.
In addition it pledged to improve road safety and adapt the road building programme to the impacts of climate change
The roads review recommendations along with the Welsh Government’s response went on to form the National Transport Delivery Plan in which the new Dyfi bridge was a key project.
The bridge, built to replace a 19th century structure prone to flooding, opened today (Friday, February 2) thanks to a £46m of Welsh Government funding.
It is described as a climate resilient scheme as the previous 19th century Pont-ar-Ddyfi bridge was not designed to carry the current volume of traffic and was often closed due to frequent flooding.
Speaking at the opening of the new bridge, Lee Waters, Deputy Minister with responsibility for transport said: “It has been great to visit today to open this new bridge which is a very visible symbol of the changes we are making and the way roads will be built from now on.
“This key strategic route links north and south Wales and provides connectivity to healthcare, education, employment and leisure.
“I was particularly pleased to be among the first group of people on bikes to take advantage of the new cycling and walking route that is fully integrated into the new bridge, as part of a wider active travel network being developed in and around Machynlleth.
“This shows how we can make it easier to walk and cycle in rural Wales, as well as in our more urban towns and cities.”
The visit to open the new Dyfi bridge took place almost a year to the date of the roads review announcement which has gathered attention across the world.
The Deputy Minister continued: “Our roads policy statement published last year makes clear that we will continue to invest in new and existing roads, but to qualify for future funding the focus must be on minimising carbon emissions, not increasing capacity; not increasing emissions through higher vehicle speeds, and not adversely affecting ecologically valuable sites.
“We have declared a Climate and Nature Emergency, legislated to protect the Well-being of Future Generations, and put into law a requirement to reach NetZero by 2050.
“We must be prepared to follow through.”
David Parr, Managing Director of Griffiths, who built the bridge, added: “We are proud to see the Dyfi Bridge Scheme open to the public.
“The scheme has been a real technical challenge but is testament to our commitment to addressing the effects of climate change, enhancing community access to essential healthcare and education services, all whilst focussing on active travel solutions.
“Through collective efforts, we have not only reduced our carbon footprint from construction but also invested in future generations through nurturing talents through apprenticeships.”
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