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News that third Menai crossing plan could be re-visited ‘welcomed’

26 Mar 2024 5 minute read
The Menai Suspension Bridge. Photo by bvi4092 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Dale Spridgeon Local Democracy Reporter

News that stalled plans for a third Menai crossing linking Anglesey with the mainland of Wales could be revisited have been welcomed.

It comes after the Welsh Government’s new North Wales transport minister Ken Skates told the BBC Wales’ Sunday Supplement show that the halted scheme to provide a third link could be “looked at again.”

Commitment

Some politicians have warmly welcomed his comments as “encouraging,” some called for a “firm commitment,” whilst others have hailed them as mere “election posturing.”

Mr Skates, the Member of the Senedd for Clwyd South, had been voicing interest over looking again at several North Wales transport and road building schemes.

But before any decisions, Mr Skates, the North Wales and Transport Minister, said he wanted to “listen” to what people and experts had to say.

Recently, Anglesey Council had expressed “disappointment” that Cardiff had “failed to understand the challenges” currently faced over the Menai Strait crossing.

Speaking at an extraordinary meeting of its executive (Thursday, February, 29) Anglesey County Council leader Cllr Llinos Medi had stated the problems were far more than “just a transport issue” and had the potential to create “challenges and threats to safety and life.”

The island was at times, she said at risk of being “cut off ” not only from health and emergency services, but also from work and education establishments.

A third bridge was “critical,” she said.

“Right direction”

Welcoming Mr Skates comments Cllr Medi said it was “a positive step in the right direction.”

“Our situation here on Ynys Môn is unique to any other region across Wales, we depend on two bridges to link us to and from the mainland.

“We have seen during recent events that the current situation is just not resilient or good enough.

“This has ultimately left communities isolated, stagnated many businesses and has had a huge effect on workers, our young people, and families.”

“It’s encouraging to read that the Minister says he intends to listen to the views of the people and the councillors that represent our local communities.

“The message from Ynys Môn is clear – a third Menai crossing is critical to ensure our island’s resilience and future economic growth.”

“I look forward to discussing this further with the Minister.”

Economy

Anglesey Chief Executive, Dylan J Williams, added, “These initial comments from the new Minister are encouraging.

“The resilience and reliability of the Menai crossing goes well beyond just transport related benefits, it is more than simply a road scheme and demands to be looked at within a wider, long-term strategic context.”

“There is a need to ensure that the residents can live their lives from day to day – gain access to work, education, health, and emergency services.

“There’s also a need to ensure an economic connection to the UK’s second busiest port in Holyhead; from a tourism perspective as well as our recently confirmed Freeport status and our aspirations to welcome a development of a new power station on the Island.”

“Of course, we would welcome the opportunity to collaborate and discuss this further with Welsh Government and other key external partners.”

Ynys Môn’s Conservative MP Virginia Crosbie said:

“Although this might be a welcome change of rhetoric from Welsh Labour it is still only if and buts, not a firm commitment for a desperately needed third Menai crossing that I have been campaigning for.

“I am happy to meet with Mr Skates to hear whether he is serious, and what are the next steps.

“For example, talk of addressing the climate emergency and good design is great but what does it mean when it comes to time-scales and spades in the ground?

“If it requires money, then I would do all in my power to see if the UK government can help. As everyone knows, I will work with anyone for the good of Ynys Môn.

“But right now, nothing has changed here. We need a third crossing and there isn’t one even on the horizon.

“All I can say with confidence is it appears there might be a change of heart in Cardiff. Scraps of comfort for Anglesey but better than the outright third crossing ban of last year.”

“Posturing”

Leader of Plaid Cymru and Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn Rhun ap Iorwerth, also stated: “It is great news if it is genuine, and not just pre-election posturing to win back votes after the disasters left behind by Waters and Drakeford.

“He will need the support of the UK Government though, as in typical Labour fashion the Welsh Government have wasted money that should have been invested on infrastructure, on vanity projects

Labour’s Westminster Candidate for Ynys Môn, Ieuan Môn Williams added:

“”I’m looking forward to meeting with Ken in his new role to convey and discuss the views of local residents on the resilience of the Menai crossings, as well as improving transport across the whole area.”


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Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
23 days ago

Its groundhog day. The year 2024, and if the Anglesey Council still believe that ‘Cardiff had failed to understand the challenges currently face over the Menai Strait crossing’ then it is never going to happen. I actually agree with Mr ap Iorwerth for once, this just feels like political posturing, and I’m sure the residents of Anglesey feel the same way. Dylan J Williams’ statement typifies the muddled up thinking of Plaid Cymrus tourism and environmental policies as does the man himself. When he talks ‘from a tourism perspective’ what he means is Plaid Cymrus support even encouragement of large… Read more »

Alan Holmes
Alan Holmes
23 days ago

A third crossing would be absolutely devastating to the environment and I would totally oppose one. Yes there are sometimes queues at the bridges, but this is mostly because the suspension bridge is only one way at the moment. I haven’t found any problem in waiting an extra 5 minutes to cross the bridge, and that should be fixed in the next year. If you can’t wait five minutes, then your life needs fixing more than the bridge.

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