Transport minister says he understands ‘frustrations’ as he unveils Menai Bridge support package
Wales’ transport minister has said that he understands people’s “frustrations” as he unveiled a package of support for people travelling to and from Anglesey following the closure of the Mani suspension bridge last month.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Water will visit the bridge today, 30 November, where he will also meet with representatives from Gwynedd and Anglesey councils to discuss the maintenance works.
The new package put together in partnership with the company in charge of maintaining the bridge, UK Highways A55 Ltd, and Anglesey and Gwynedd County Councils includes free parking, traffic flow solutions, access to active travel routes and additional bus stops to support people affected by the bridge closure.
The closure of the Menai suspension bridge has caused long tailbacks in the mornings and evenings due to the number of people now making use of the other bridge to Anglesey, the Britannia Bridge, alone.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters said: “We understand people’s frustrations and the inconvenience and disruption caused to the local community.
“We have been working closely with UK Highways A55 Ltd and local authorities to introduce these measures to help alleviate people’s concerns and ensure disruption is kept to a minimum as essential work continues on the Menai Suspension Bridge.”
From 1 December free parking will be available at car parks in Menai Bridge town and at the two park and share sites throughout December and January.
To assist with the loss of bus services on the island following the closure of the bridge, the council has also provided additional stops closer to the Menai Suspension Bridge.
Local Authorities are also considering active travel routes to allow cyclists to use ‘hire bikes’ to potentially be used in Menai Bridge and Bangor.
An emergency services contingency plan to utilise Menai Suspension Bridge when the A55 Britannia Bridge is closed has been developed; gates on the Menai Suspension Bridge to allow emergency access across the structure during very extreme events were installed last week.
Anglesey Council’s Leader, Councillor Llinos Medi, said: “We are pleased to see these support measures introduced today. Since the closure of the Menai Suspension Bridge, we have been strongly advocating for support to be provided to local businesses.
“The Menai Suspension Bridge is a vital gateway to and from the town centre. We are hopeful these set of measures will go some way to help support local businesses that have reported a fall in trade since the closure of the bridge.
“We are currently analysing the results from a recent online survey shared with local businesses. This work will enable us to continue dialogue with Welsh Government in respect of further support, if needed, throughout the closure period. Menai Bridge is very much open for business, and I encourage residents and visitors to visit the town and support local businesses in the area.”
The works programme is due to be completed in early 2023, subject to weather conditions. When completed the A5 Menai Suspension Bridge will be reopened to 7.5t vehicles and below.
Contingency planning continues on the Britannia Bridge with increased wind thresholds for some vulnerable vehicles, meaning the bridge can remain open for longer periods and will also be subject to shorter restriction periods.
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