A THIRD bridge over the Menai Strait is ‘critical’ to redress decline on Anglesey to secure the island’s economic future and improve the lives of its communities, a council leader has claimed.

The comments came as the Isle of Anglesey County Council’s Executive unanimously backed calls for a third Menai crossing.

A report presented to committee members included evidence to support the council’s view that an improved “multi-modal crossing”  was “greatly needed.”

The report highlighted that “failure to increase resilience” by delivering a third crossing could compound challenges already faced by the island’s economy and communities.

It also pointed to the limitation of both existing crossings and how they affect the lives of residents and businesses on a daily basis.

These included missing a “golden opportunity” to reverse Anglesey’s decline and loss of residents;  to secure the opportunities for the Freeport and deliver low carbon energy projects on the island.

Incidents, adverse, weather and accidents creating delays could all put growth at the Port of Holyhead “in jeopardy” impacting tourism, business development, schools, education health and social care, emergency services as well as traffic impact on local communities

The County Council’s findings will now be presented to the Welsh Government’s North Wales Transport Commission (NWTC).

The NWTC’s remit includes considering options for how the connections to and from the Island can be made “more resilient” in the context of recent maintenance works and impact of bad weather events on the existing infrastructure.

Anglesey Council Leader and Economic portfolio holder, Councillor Llinos Medi said: “There is no doubt that the Menai crossing is critical to our Island’s resilience and future economic growth. It is it is so much more than just a road scheme.

“There was naturally great disappointment at the outcome of the Welsh Government’s recent Roads Review as it failed to acknowledge the Island’s unique circumstances and problems and lack of resilience caused by the existing crossings.”

She added, “We felt it was vital to commission our own response and I’m very pleased that this report has now secured the full backing of Executive members.”

Anglesey Chief Executive, Dylan J Williams, said: “In addition to resilience and economic prosperity, ensuring robust links with the mainland are crucial so that residents can live their day to day lives – gain access to work, education, health and emergency services.

“These links also have a key role to play in maintaining Anglesey’s connectivity with the rest of the region (and vice versa) and promoting our profile and reputation.

“Following today’s endorsement of the report by the Executive, we look forward to submitting this evidence on the need for an improved multi-modal crossing across the Menai Strait to the North Wales Transport Commission (NWTC) and further discussions with Welsh Government officials and ministers.”