Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Replies from Rhodri Morgan & Cllr John Davies

I have been meaning to get the relevant sections of replies received from Rhodri Morgan and Cllr John Davies, onto this blog. I cannot say the delay is due to the fine weather, as its been appalling!

1. Reply from Michael Hillier (Road Networks Management Admin Team) replied on 1.8.07, on behalf of Rhodri Morgan:-

"The current position is that officials from the Welsh Assembly Government Transport Wales are yet to meet with Pembrokeshire County Council regarding the trunking of the A477 between Pembroke Dock and Johnston, which includes Cleddau Bridge. As such, no policy has yet been developed regarding the adoption of the bridge, timesclaes or the issue of tolling. The trunking of the network is currentl low priority due to potential financial requirements and statutory issues".

2. Reply from Cllr John Davies. E-mail dated 30.7.07

"... not at any time in the past has the WAG or the former Welsh Office suggested that they would abolish the tolls. In the absence of any firm commitment in writing from Ministers or Senior WAG Civil Servants, it is only right and proper that we assume that the present principle of charging would continue. Even recently in questions Rhodri Morgan's final words were explicitly clear, 'I makeno promises'.

Secondly I can give you a categorical assurance that as a County Council, we are positive in entering into dialogue with WAG with a view of negotiating a 'take over' of the bridge and its future maintenance plus its associated route. This would be done on the strict proviso that the Pembrokeshire Tax Payer benefits from such a change. I am sure you would agree to do anything else would be nothing less than reckless from our part.

I hardly need to remind you that on previous occasions over a period that spans beyond this Council, firm commitments and assurances have been less than forthcoming from WAG and its predecessor the Welsh Office, nevertheless we will be making another attempt to achieve wha is for the long term good of the whole of Pembrokeshire and its people."

WHILST WRITING, I am still awaiting a response from Ieuan Wyn Jones, the new Deputy First Minister who also holds the Cabinet position of the Economy and Transport. I guess a response is likely in the very near future, in accordance to WAG timescales given to respond to correspondence.

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