The Welsh Government won’t step-in to stop Severn Bridge renaming.
‘I can see no reason it can’t be celebrated as a memorial to all Princes’ of Wales in the past’
THE Welsh Government has no plans to tell Alun Cairns not to press ahead with plans to rename the Second Severn Crossing.
The Secretary of State for Wales announced earlier this month that the bridge would be renamed the Prince of Wales Bridge.
The renaming, which will take place later this year, is to mark Prince Charles’ 70th birthday year.
It is also 60 years since he became Prince of Wales.
Charles will visit Wales later this year for a special ceremony to mark the change in name, Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns announced.
Almost 40,000 people have now signed an online petition against the proposal since it was announced on April 5.
Planned name change
It emerged that the Welsh Government was notified of the planned name change but did not put forward any objection.
During a debate at the Senedd, cabinet secretary Ken Skates was asked by Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price whether he would ask the UK Government to “think again”.
“Whilst in the gift of the UK Government, it’s something many, many people in Wales will support.
“There’s a huge number of other bridges we could name in honour of other people.”
Mr Price said: “Wales has moved on. The naming of things, symbols are important because they say something about the nation that we are.
“That’s why this has jarred with people.”
The debate was brought forward as a topical question by Independent AM Neil McEvoy.
He said there were better suited people who had made an impact on Wales who should be considered.
Mr Skates responded saying there were a number of historical figures already recognised.
“This is a bridge owned by another Government, half of which is in another country.
“I’m more concerned with the removal of the tolls to ease traffic flow rather than the naming of the actual bridge
“While I believe the bridge has been renamed in honour and recognition of the current Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Charles, then I can see no reason it can’t be celebrated as a memorial to all Princes’ of Wales in the past,” he said.
ConservativeAM for Montgomeryshire Russell George said it was a “fitting tribute”.
“It is my view that this is something that the vast majority of the Welsh public welcome”.
He agreed that the abolition of the tolls was more important and said that the renaming of the bridge was a “relatively minor issue”.
Mr Skates said: “Few other figures are better recognised around the world than the Prince of Wales.
“I think we should not just recognise the invaluable work that he and other members of the Royal Family have done – I say this not as a monarchist but a republican – and continue to do all we can to promote Wales globally.”
“Instead we have the pointless renaming of a bridge,” he said.