01 Nov, 2023
A petition has been launched calling for the Welsh Government to commit to building a third Menai crossing.
Britain Remade, which campaigns across the UK to unlock jobs and economic growth started the petition which asks the Welsh Government to, “Drop its ban on new road projects, re-commit to getting a third Menai crossing built, and work with the Government in Westminster to secure the funds necessary for the project.”
It is the latest phase of the group’s campaign for a new road connection between the Welsh mainland and Ynys Môn, which is wholly dependent on two heavily congested 19th century bridges for road access.
The launch of the petition follows a public meeting on the island last month, organised by Britain Remade, which brought together residents and politicians, including the MP for Ynys Môn Virginia Crosbie and Cllr Sonia Williams and Cllr Dyfed Wyn Jones from Plaid Cymru.
At the meeting an “overwhelming majority” demanded politicians in Cardiff give the plans for a new crossing the go ahead as quickly as possible.
The campaign group says a new crossing would “slash congestion and emissions” and support investment on Ynys Môn like a new nuclear power station at Wylfa.
Each day 42,000 vehicles use the two existing bridges; however these roads suffer from congestion, and regular closures for maintenance and in high winds.
Britain Remade says last year’s temporary closure of the Menai Bridge for repairs caused “traffic chaos and economic pain” for people and businesses in north West Wales.
Plans for any new bridge were cancelled when the Welsh Government scrapped 55 road building projects on climate grounds.
Environmental campaigners called the decision, “world-leading and brave”.
However, Britain Remade has said that vehicles crossing the Strait will continue to increase beyond the next decade which could lead to worse congestion and higher emissions.
Polling by Britain Remade has 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 in Wales (49%) are opposed to the freeze on new road building projects.
A third (33%) support it and 18% say they don’t know.
Half of people (49%) also thought the scrapping of major road building projects would be ineffective at reducing overall carbon emissions in Wales.
Research carried out by Britain Remade looked at the impact of Westminster’s main scheme for building and upgrading Britain’s motorways and major roads.
It found that adding 370 miles on new roads increased CO2 emissions by just 0.1%.
The campaign group gas said the best way to cut emissions is to make it easier for drivers to choose electric cars.
Sam Richards, Founder and Campaign Director of Britain Remade, said: “Every time I speak to people on Ynys Môn I’m struck by how much people rely on the two ageing bridges linking the island to the mainland.
“People on Ynys Môn are desperate for a modern connection to mainland Wales, which has been promised for so many years.
“Not only is the lack of a 21st century bridge making life difficult for residents and businesses, it’s leading to more congestion and higher emissions – while doing little to tackle climate change.
“This petition will send a clear message to the governments in Cardiff and Westminster: stop playing politics, and work together to make the lives of those who rely on the Menai crossing easier.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The North Wales Transport Commission is considering options for improving connections to and from Ynys Mon.
“Final recommendations are yet to be made, but the interim report sets out an approach to make the current infrastructure and bridges work better.”