INFLATATION has led to the Welsh Government spending even more money on the abandoned road schemes in North Wales - including the mooted third Menai crossing.

On February 14, the future of more than 50 road improvement projects became clear after the delayed review commissioned by the Welsh Government was published.

The projects had been paused by the deputy minister for climate change, Lee Waters, when he set up the Welsh Roads Review Panel led by transport expert Dr Lynn Sloman in September 2021 to examine the case for continuing with them.

It meant the Welsh Government scrapped plans for a new bridge linking Anglesey and Gwynedd as part the review.

It has not stopped calls, including from Ynys Mon MS Rhun ap Iorwerth, for the Welsh Government to press ahead with plans for a third crossing.

However, in March, a third crossing was again been ruled out by First Minister Mark Drakeford.

But calls were renewed in May when a fatal accident on the A55 led to the Britannia Bridge being closed for nine hours.

Mr ap Iorwerth has also called for introduction of a “zipper system” across Britannia Bridge as a medium-term measure.

He said: "The need for a new bridge is a matter of ensuring our overall resilience as an island.

"It was extremely disappointing and frustrating that the Welsh Labour Government made a U-turn on their promise to go ahead with the plan, and today we understand that the costs earmarked for it have been written off.

"I’m determined that the decision needs to be looked at again, and I will continue to make the case to Government Ministers and the North Wales Transport Commission for a new bridge to turn the Britannia crossing into a dual carriageway.

"Ynys Môn cannot afford the risk of being isolated."

More delays are also expected when work resumes on the Menai Suspension Bridge in September.

It was also announced that improvements to the A483 around Wrexham would be scrapped and a review will be set up to consider an "exemplar" project to reduce car usage.

Also scrapped was the so-called 'red route' - a scheme which would have seen a new eight-mile stretch of dual carriageway linking the A55 at Northop with the A494 and A550 north of Deeside Parkway Junction via the Flintshire Bridge.

In February, the Welsh Government revealed that around £8million had been spent on the abandoned schemes.

And on Thursday (July 13), Lee Waters MS, deputy minister for climate change, said inflation rates have heightened the costs of the schemes, 

He said: "As part of the roads review recommendations and Welsh Government’s response including the decision not to proceed with the A55 3rd Menai Crossing, Flintshire Corridor Improvements and A483 Junction 3-6 Improvement schemes in their current form, I have agreed to write off part of the costs incurred by Welsh Government in developing these schemes.

"The reduction in value of historic expenditure on these schemes has been assessed at £5.7m and will be included in Welsh Government accounts for 2022/23."

Mr Waters added: "The remaining costs will be reviewed periodically, as required by Managing Welsh Public Money, to ensure they still represent future value. For example, the North Wales Transport Commission is using some of this material and its value could therefore be realised through its use on a range of other potential infrastructure projects or programmes."