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Anglesey North Wales Politics

Campaigners to hold public meeting for third Menai crossing

Welsh Government engineers inspect one of the hangers to be repaired on the Menai Suspension Bridge

PRO-GROWTH campaign group Britain Remade will next week hold a public meeting with Ynys Môn residents and local politicians as part of the groups campaign for a third Menai crossing.

The cross-party campaign group is calling on the Welsh Government to give the much-needed new crossing over the Menai Strait the go ahead after its ban on new road building projects put a halt to the plans.

The meeting, which is open to everyone, will take place on Wednesday 27th September at the Thomas Telford Centre from 7pm.

Chaired by Sam Richards, Britain Remade’s Founder and Campaign Director, the meeting will bring together representative from across the political spectrum who want to see a new bridge built, including Virginia Crosbie MP.

Not only will the required new road slash congestion and emissions, but also support investment on Ynys Môn, boost growth and unlock much needed jobs on the island.

A third crossing over the Strait is also essential for securing a new nuclear power station at Wylfa – a move that will create thousands of high-quality jobs, while helping to fight climate change by providing clean, secure domestic energy.

Despite over 42,000 vehicles relying on the two 19th Century bridges linking Ynys Môn with mainland Wales, the long hoped for new crossing fell victim to a decision by the Welsh Government to scrap 55 road building projects on climate grounds, introducing an effective ban on any future road building in Wales. This was despite the Welsh Government’s own predictions showing vehicle crossings will continue to increase beyond the next decade and intensify congestion, which will lead to higher emissions.

The temporary closure last year of the aging Menai Bridge for repairs caused traffic chaos and economic pain for people and businesses in North West Wales.

Polling by Britain Remade found that scrapping the plan for a new crossing is opposed by close to half (46%) of people within the region and supported by just a third (33%) of people who live in north Wales.

The poll also found that half of people across Wales (49%) are opposed to the ban on new roads being built, while a third (33%) support it and 18% say they don’t know. Half of people (49%) also thought that banning road building would be ineffective at reducing overall carbon emissions in Wales.

Research carried out by Britain Remade has shown that delivering new road projects, like the third Menai crossing, can happen at the same time as tackling climate change.

The research, which looked at the impact of Westminster’s main scheme for building and upgrading Britain’s motorways and major roads, found that adding 370 miles on new road increased CO2 emissions by just 0.1%. This shows that the best way to cut emissions is to make it easier for drivers to choose electric cars – and not by banning new roads.

The polling demonstrates wide opposition to the road building ban across the political spectrum with 67% of Conservative voters, 46% Labour and 43% of Plaid Cymru voters all against.

Sam Richards, Founder and Campaign Director of Britain Remade, said: “The people and businesses on Ynys Môn are desperate for the modern connection to mainland Wales that has been promised for so many years.

“Not only is the lack of a 21st century bridge making life difficult for resident and businesses, its leading to more congestion and higher emissions – while doing little to tackle climate change.

“Britain Remade will be back in Ynys Môn next week to bring together local people and local politicians in order to strengthen the campaign for a new crossing. This will hopefully send a clear message to the governments in Cardiff and London who need to stop playing politics, and work together to make the lives of those who rely on the Menai crossing easier.

“If we want to tackle climate change the answer is not banning new roads. All this will achieve is more congestion, higher emissions and longer journey times, while strangling economic growth and job creation in Wales.

“Instead, we need to build projects like the third Menai crossing, which is essential for making the business case for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa, providing the clean domestic energy that is necessary to help us fight climate change.”

Virginia Crosbie, Conservative MP for Anglesey, said: “We have an ageing bridge infrastructure to get us to and from our island at a time when there are huge opportunities to grow our economy thanks to our freeport status, renewables investment, a hydrogen hub and our new nuclear ambitions.

“Sadly, Welsh Labour do not believe in these opportunities and ambitions for Ynys Môn and it has banned new road infrastructure. We need to keep the pressure on Cardiff to change its mind and commit to a third crossing.

“This is an important way for the island to lock in the jobs and investment success of recent years.”