THE Welsh Government is keen to build a new bridge in Swansea’s SA1.
If given planning approval it would create a pedestrian and cycle link all the way round the Prince of Wales Dock for the first time.
Houses, flats, and businesses have grown around much of the dock in recent years but access along the southern flank is punctuated by a narrow stretch of water linking to Kings Dock and from there to the River Tawe channel and open sea.
A commercial marina at Prince of Wales Dock has been an aspiration for the Welsh Government for years and a retractable pedestrian and cycle bridge was approved by Swansea council in 2014.
But the bridge wasn’t built and the commercial marina hasn’t come to fruition yet, partly due to the cost of creating the required infrastructure.
A planning document submitted as part of the Welsh Government’s new bridge application to the council said: “Following a delay to the project the applicant is eager to deliver the consented development, albeit in an amended form – a non-retractable bridge orientated on a changed alignment to that consented.”
Asked if a non-retractable bridge could impact on the delivery of a commercial marina because it would impede boats with masts a Welsh Government spokesman said this was not the case.
“Access to a future marina at the dock, as set out in the approved marina planning consent, would be provided through the construction of a new sea lock and communication channel and the existing tidal basin,” he said.
There is also a swing road bridge at this section of the Prince of Wales Dock for use by Associated British Ports.
Swansea Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Chris Holley has frequently voiced his support for a Prince of Wales Dock marina. He said he would also like to see the Neath and Tennant Canal linked to the dock. “The whole idea was to make the Prince of Wales Dock a destination,” he said.
The Welsh Government said last January that the commercial marina would cost around £25m to deliver and added: “As consequence and given other departmental commitments it is not being considered as a priority for delivery at the present time.”