Four routes for improving capacity across the Menai Strait are outlined in the consultation, which will last until 9 March 2018. The aim is to announce a preferred route in summer 2018.

Development of the options has been carried out by a team that includes Aecom, Knight Architects and Richards, Moorehead & Laing (link opens in new tab). Four indicative bridge types have come from the process: extradosed designs with one or two pylons, a two-pylon cable-stayed bridge and a balanced cantilever bridge with two main spans. The consultation emphasises that the structural form should minimise any aesthetic conflicts with the existing historic bridges. The selection has also considered initial and whole-life costs, constructability and maintenance.

Three of the route options involve a new bridge directly to the east or west of Britannia Bridge. There is also an option involving extension of the Britannia Bridge or a new bridge immediately east of existing bridge to provide extra traffic lanes.

All of the options incorporate improvements to at least one junction of the A55 highway; all also make provision for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the Menai Strait either on the new bridge or the existing Britannia Bridge.

Economy and transport secretary Ken Skates said that he is absolutely committed to the development of a third Menai crossing and that it will bring many benefits to the area including addressing congestion on the existing Britannia Bridge. He added: “The third Menai crossing is an imperative part of our plans to improve capacity, reliability and journey times as well as strengthen the network’s resilience. We are aiming to start construction by the end of 2020.”