Charles formally marks controversial Second Severn Crossing name change

PA

The Second Severn Crossing has been renamed after the Prince of Wales as a new poll suggested more than half of the Welsh people want a different name for the bridge.

Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall unveiled a plaque to formally mark the change of name after the couple visited the bridge's toll plaza and met staff.

But the decision to change the name to The Prince of Wales Bridge has proven controversial, angering some who said there should have been a public consultation over the move.

Charles and Camilla
Charles and Camilla

The survey of more than 1,000 people in Wales, conducted by YouGov for ITV Wales and Cardiff University, revealed 38% wanted the name to stay the same, while 16% wanted the bridge to be given a different name.

Out of those questioned, 27% supported renaming the crossing the Prince of Wales Bridge, while 19% did not know.

The Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said in a speech at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport that he hoped the removal of the bridge tolls at the end of the year would bring a financial boost and bring communities on both sides of the Severn estuary closer together.

A sign with the new name for the bridge
A sign with the new name for the bridge

He said it could help create an economic powerhouse to rival those in other parts of the country.

Mr Cairns said later, when asked to comment on the controversy surrounding the renaming: "If you take any international study, one was recently conducted by the Welsh Government on the brand of Wales, how that was seen and known internationally.

"Well the Prince of Wales is one of the most prominent figures that points to Wales, and therefore I couldn't think, in this significant anniversary year, of a better title of someone bridging two communities in his 70th birthday year."