Plaid MS questions First Minister over road and bridge repairs
A year after floods swept away an historic listed bridge in Denbighshire and closed a key road link in the Vale of Llangollen, Plaid Cymru MS Llyr Gruffydd has questioned the First Minister over funding for road and bridge repairs.
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's North Wales MS, said Pont Llannerch near Trefnant in the Vale of Clwyd and the B5605 linking Cefn Mawr and Pentre near Chirk were key links for local communities.
He asked the First Minister in the Senedd to comment on frustrations locally that no funding had been allocated centrally to help local authorities make these specific repairs:
"One frustration is that it takes so long, very often, to deal with repairing infrastructure. In the meantime, the damage can become worse, and the costs can increase. I'm thinking of examples such as the B5605 at Newbridge near Wrexham. It's over a year now since the damage was done there. And Llannerch bridge in Trefnant, Denbighshire, where it's been a year since the damage occurred to the bridge there. In both cases, local residents, when they used to be able to complete short journeys, now have to take very long journeys because the infrastructure's been lost, and that brings a cost in terms of the carbon footprint too.
"So, can I make a request that the Government looks urgently and favourably at requests from local authorities for investment to restore those two examples of infrastructure lost as a result of flood damage and climate change, because the delays mean not only that the work will be more expensive in financial terms, but that there is a higher cost in terms of climate change too?
"So, what we have done is not only increase capital funding to carry out that work, but we've also provided revenue to help local authorities and others to prepare for that work, to put their bids together so they can be submitted to us, and in so doing, to accelerate the process that we have."
Speaking afterwards, Mr Gruffydd said: "Councils are facing many more challenges in terms of maintaining infrastructure in the face of increased climate emergency, including floods, and capital funding from Welsh Government is not keeping pace with this. These two issues in my region are not an isolated problem and so it needs a coordinated programme to ensure we have a sustainable and resilient transport network for the future. Both NRW and CADW should also be making the case for funding to Welsh Government. Otherwise we will be without bridges and roads like this for many years to come."