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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 February 2007, 12:01 GMT
Toll bridge second crossing call
Pont Brewit
Pont Briwet was built in 1860 and has room for only one car
Calls have been made for a new bridge to ease traffic problems on a privately-owned rail and road crossing with room for only one car at a time.

During the summer motorists queued up to half-an-hour to cross Pont Briwet between Penrhyndeudraeth and Llandecwyn in Gwynedd, say local people.

Gwynedd County Council said it was in discussion with Network Rail about a project to upgrade the crossing.

A public consultation is due to be held later this year.

Pont Briwet was built in 1860. Motorists pay a toll to cross and save about eight miles (12km) on their journey.

During the winter months around 300 cars pass over it daily, but in summer that swells to between 1,000 - 1,500.

Gwynedd councillor Caerwyn Roberts said a new crossing was desperately needed, but warned any plans would have to be suitable for future use.

"If we want to take on board the challenges in the future of sustainable transport and getting people to get on their bike and to walk, we need to make sure that we get a new bridge which will include a cycle path beside it," he said.

Pont Brewit
We are now evaluating long-term options for the structure
Network Rail spokesperson

Businesses in Penrhydeudraeth said they feared they were losing customers during the summer because local people did not bother making the journey.

"We get a fair bit of trade from the Ardudwy area but I know that some won't make the journey here during the summer because the problems are so bad," said businessman Dafydd Jones.

A Gwynedd County Council spokesman said it had been looking at the feasibility of upgrading the crossing for some time, and was in discussion with Network Rail because the bridge also carried the Cambrian Coast Railway.

A report was expected in April and the various options would then be shown to the public in a series of public exhibitions later in the year, the spokesman added.

A Network Rail spokesperson: "Due to the scale of works on this bridge we have recently carried out short term repair works. We are now evaluating long-term options for the structure."

The Welsh Assembly Government said it would consider funding for a new bridge if the council and Taith (the North Wales regional transport consortium) included such a project in their regional transport plan.

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