Ynys Môn Assembly Member Rhun ap Iorwerth this week asked the First Minister to provide an update on plans for a third crossing across the Menai Strait.
During FMQs, Rhun received confirmation that they are still on time to complete the project in 2022. He further asked about Welsh Government’s discussions with the Grid and the importance of consulting fully with local people regarding possible routes. Speaking in the Senedd, Rhun said:
“I’m pleased that, in our pre-budget agreement, we secured funding to develop this project, which is needed not just because of the frustrations for people because of delays in crossing the bridge but in order to provide resilience for the crossing between Anglesey and the mainland.
“In June last year, I made an appeal to ensure that the National Grid should make a financial contribution towards the bridge rather than wasting £100m or £200 million on a tunnel under the Menai Strait. Now that the completion date, rather than the commencement date, is 2021-22, can we take that as a sign that the National Grid have agreed to make this contribution and that we are seeking a model to achieve that? Can I also be given an assurance the consultation on the proposal will be as broad and as full as possible with the constituents of Anglesey?
In his response, the First Minister replied:
“There is no kind of agreement as yet. I raised this with the Grid about two to three years ago. At that time, we wanted to consider with them how we could develop a crossing for the Menai. At that point, they weren’t interested. Things have changed since then, but we’re not in a position where we can say, ‘There is an agreement’. By May of next year, of course, we will announce the route that we wish to take so that the bridge can be built. By then, of course — way before then, we hope — we’ll be in a position where we know what the grid’s position will be, and what kind of contribution they wish to make to the crossing.”