More than 1,100 people raised over £4,800 for three charities and eight local primary schools as part of a charity walk on the soon to be opened Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass.
Residents were treated to a glimpse of the new A487 Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass, which has been built by the Balfour Beatty Jones Bros joint venture, ahead of the official road opening in early 2022 as they walked from Meifod roundabout to Llanwnda and back.
“They’ve done an excellent job,” Olive Jones, one of the walkers who lives in Bethel, told BBC Wales. “It will make a big difference, especially to the residents of Bontnewydd and those traveling to and from Caernarfon every day.”
A further £8,550 was donated by suppliers and sub-contractors to the three charities involved – Gafael Llaw, Eryri Hospital League of Friends and I’Can Mental Health, part of Blue Sky Charity for the NHS, who have supported the scheme during construction with free mental health and awareness training.
The opportunity to raise money for charities and schools was a thank you to the locals for their support whilst the Balfour Beatty Jones Bros joint venture has been building the road.
Elgan Ellis, roads lead on the project, said: “It’s fantastic to see the support of the community and to hear how happy people are with the work that has been, and continues to be, done, is reward for the team’s efforts.
“Throughout the project, the Balfour Beatty Jones Bros joint venture has been eager to engage with the local community and events like these ones are vital to everyone associated with the work that has been carried out.”
And Gwyndaf Williams, who walked the bypass with his family and dog, Oscar, is excited about the opening of the new road and the benefits it will bring to the local community.
Speaking to BBC Wales, he said: “We live in Saron, and the back lanes out there can be quite busy – especially in the summer. Hopefully the bypass will make a difference for us.”
His thoughts were echoed by Delyth Hughes, who hailed the workers for their hard work and dedication to the project.
Delyth, from Dinas, told BBC Wales: “Credit must go out to those involved in the project because they have carried on working through the pandemic. That’s why it’s on schedule to finish on time.
“It’s going to make all the difference to the traffic.”
The charity walk follows on from a group of schoolchildren opening a new bridge earlier this year, which forms part of an unnamed road, known locally as Lôn Felinwnda, which adjoins the bypass site, before becoming the first people to walk across it.