Ken Skates is holding meetings today to discuss plans to improve access to and from the island of Anglesey.
The first crossing is the Menai Suspension Bridge, which was designed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1826. The second is the Britannia Bridge, which started life as carrying only rail traffic. It was designed and built by Robert Stephenson in the middle of the19th century, but was rebuilt in 1970 following a fire then had a second tier added in 1980 to carry road vehicles.
The Welsh government’s preferred solution was a third Menai crossing, said Skates. “I have long been clear in my commitment to a third Menai crossing, and the obvious benefits it would bring to local communities and the economy,” he said. “The current system is often at or over capacity and with major projects such as Wyfla Newydd in the pipeline it’s imperative that we act quickly to look at how we can improve accessibility.”
He added: “We’ve looked in detail at all possible solutions to the existing Britannia Bridge, from providing three narrow lanes with tidal flow on the existing bridge to moving the eastbound merge to smooth traffic flow. These options have been ruled out following significant safety issues identified in risk assessments and concerns raised by the emergency services.
“We are now developing a preferred option for a new bridge in consultation with interested parties to see what’s possible. As part of this process, we continue to explore with the National Grid opportunities for a combined road and cable crossing – something which could provide added benefits to the scheme for all concerned.”