The Prince of Wales has officially marked the renaming of the Second Severn Crossing at a ceremony in Newport today (2 July).
His Royal Highness was joined by The Duchess of Cornwall on a visit to South Wales which signalled the start of Their Royal Highnesses’ annual ‘Wales Week’ tour.
The Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns announced earlier this year the decision to rename the crossing ‘The Prince of Wales Bridge’ as a tribute to His Royal Highness in a year that sees him mark 60 years as The Prince of Wales and as a celebration of Princes of Wales past and present.
Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed to Wales today by the Welsh Secretary, Alun Cairns, and the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.
The decision to rename the Second Severn Crossing has had the full support of the Welsh Government.
The Royal couple were first hosted on a tour of the Severn Crossing toll office by the Secretary of State for Wales, meeting Highways England staff who have been responsible for the Crossings since they returned to public ownership in January this year.
The party then travelled to the Celtic Manor Resort for a celebratory reception where The Prince of Wales unveiled a ceremonial plaque to mark the renaming of the Bridge.
Addressing the guests from both sides of the estuary, Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
I am delighted that Their Royal Highnesses have been able to join us for this special occasion at the start of their week-long tour of Wales.
Through his extensive charity work and support for Welsh business and enterprise His Royal Highness has given decades of continued, dedicated service to our nation.
I hope that the new Prince of Wales bridge and its sister bridge will be seen as positive symbols of the newly invigorated economic, cultural and social opportunities that will present themselves to Wales, helping to make our nation fit for the future.
The visit comes in the year that the UK Government is set to abolish the tolls to use the Severn Crossings.
This landmark moment will see the UK Government deliver on its Industrial Strategy commitment to develop stronger growth corridors across the Welsh – English border, spread prosperity, and enable Wales to fulfil its potential on the global stage.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
The Prince of Wales Bridge is a fantastic gateway into South Wales and lower tolls have already saved drivers more than £5 million.
Wales and the South West will get another economic boost when the charges are abolished by the end of the year and hard-working families will make savings of over a thousand pounds a year.