The following Press Release was issued by
Joyce Watson,Welsh Assembly Member (Mid and West Wales).
11th November 2015.
Network Rail “investigating” money-saving options for Barmouth Bridge
Network Rail is considering reducing future maintenance work on Barmouth Bridge, in a bid to help keep open the historic viaduct’s foot and cycle paths.
The public-funded rail track company set out its plans in a letter to Labour Mid and West Wales AM Joyce Watson.
Mrs Watson appealed to Network Rail to consider waiving or reducing the £30,800-a-year maintenance charge to Gwynedd Council after it announced money-saving proposals to close the spectacular Victorian viaduct to walkers and cyclists.
Network Rail writes:
“We are discussing our proposals to refurbish the bridge with Gwynedd Council, plans which will help secure the viaduct’s long-term future and its crucial role in the economy.
“We are still in the very early stage of planning this project, but we investigating (sic) whether we can reduce the amount of ongoing maintenance required on the bridge, which could potentially help reduce Gwynedd’s liability in the future. We are working collaboratively with both Gwynedd Council and Cadw to ensure the long term future of Barmouth viaduct.”
Gwynedd Council is trying shave £9m from next year’s budget. More than 40,000 people have so far signed a petition urging the council to protect public access to the Barmouth-Fairbourne link – if closed, walkers could face a 16-mile detour.
Mrs Watson took part in last month’s ‘day of action’ demonstration on the bridge and has raised the issue in the Senedd.
Show your support for the Barmouth Viaduct Access Group> http://www.b-vag.org.uk/index.html
To see a short video of the Protest Cycle Ride
Music:- Whither Must I Wander? Vaughan Williams.
Artistes:- Ron Meixsell and Wahneta Meixsell.