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Council calls Commission’s resilience findings ‘inadequate’

Anglesey County Council has rejected the findings of a Commission (tasked by the Welsh Government) of improving reliability and the resilience across the Menai Straits.

Council Leader, Councillor Llinos Medi and Chief Executive Dylan J Williams have expressed their disappointment with the findings outlined in the report and have now written to the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, to highlight the Council’s dismay and concerns.

Last year, Anglesey’s Executive unanimously backed calls for a third Menai crossing after its own report argued that an improved multi-modal crossing of the Menai Strait is greatly needed. 

The report also highlighted that failure to increase resilience by delivering a third crossing is compounding challenges already faced by the Island’s economy and communities.

Anglesey Council Leader, Councillor Llinos Medi explained, “We are extremely disappointed in the conclusions that were put forward in the report by the North Wales Transport Commission. The economic future and the welfare of Anglesey residents is dependent on these links. Both bridges also provide vital connectivity for the rest of the region.”

“The situation here on Ynys Mon 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.”

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She added, “The findings and proposed solutions outlined in the report do not go anywhere near far enough to solve the reliability and resilience of both bridges. Therefore, we are calling on the Welsh Government to rejects its conclusions and recommendations and adopt a policy position that a third Menai crossing is essential to safeguard the medium to long term social and economic future of Anglesey and the mainland.”

The County Council has previously considered many of the recommended options upon which the Commission’s report is predicated and had concluded that they would not sufficiently address the lack of resilience that exists.

Anglesey Chief Executive, Dylan J. Williams said, “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.”

Copies of the reports can be found at: https://www.gov.wales/north-wales-transport-commission-final-report and https://www.gov.wales/north-wales-transport-commission-menai-strait-transport-connections

The Council’s Executive consideration of the report can be viewed here: https://democracy.anglesey.gov.uk/documents/s21153/Improving%20the%20reliability%20and%20the%20resilience%20across%20the%20Menai%20Straits.pdf?LLL=0