Community engagement at the heart of bypass build for Joint Venture9th Mar 2022

Community engagement is crucial for any project and the Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass build was no different.

The Balfour Beatty Jones Bros Joint Venture made sure that everyone was kept updated courtesy of a widely distributed bilingual newsletter, with a public liaison officer on hand to communicate with local landowners, residents, businesses, and road users.

The scheme welcomed a number of visitors including engineering students, councillors, and assembly members, as well as members of the public.

A North Wales geology society also visited the bypass site to embark on a ‘unique’ study opportunity as they carried out assessments of the land, finding samples of pre-Cambrian granite from the Plas Menai cutting, known widely as Twt Hill Granitic pluton.

The Joint Venture was also eager to give as much back to the community as possible during the build.

Elgan Ellis, senior contracts manager for Jones Bros, said: “Most jobs we do mean being at the heart of a community, and being able to engage with members of the public is very important to us.

“We’ve enjoyed being able to talk with those within the local community and the chance to help various schools, community enterprises, and Caernarfon Football Club has been wonderful.

“Supporting charities is something else Jones Bros cares deeply about and giving back to the local community in the ways that we did proves that the scheme was more than about simply building a new road.”

The site team interacted with 341 local primary school pupils from 10 different schools, with children producing artwork erected adjacent to the temporary plant bridge installed over the A487 early in the project.

One of the highlights of 2021 was the opening of overbridge S103 and side road 2, with pupils from Felinwnda Primary School – which was also provided with new gates – given the honour of opening Tyn Llan Road, and in turn becoming the first people to walk across the bridge.

In addition, Ysgol Syr Hugh requested help with clearing up its garden area, which the Joint Venture teams duly delivered, while 12 tonnes of topsoil and timber were handed over to help the pupils to construct their own eco-greenhouses.

Felinheli Primary School was also provided with soil to help pupils with their gardening.

Engagement extended beyond the local schools with various activities taking place to provide improved experiences for local areas, including:

• Providing soil for a local village to create flowerbeds for a flower planting project
• Donating children’s clothes and toys to O Law I Law community enterprise
• Loaning solar lights to Caernarfon Football Club

The important work didn’t stop there with vital funds for charity raised and support for local good causes given.

Over the duration of the project, the site team held 15 individual fundraising events, raising £19,373.

Just some of the events saw:

• £925 raised for Eryri community hospital
• £747 spent on food for the Arfon Foodbank
• £890 worth of toys donated to Gwynedd Hospital’s Christmas Toy Appeal 2020
• £1,100 donated to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
• £1,052 raised for the British Heart Foundation

Combining a community update and fundraising came in the shape of two 5km charity walks, which allowed the public to have a sneak peek at a section of the completed bypass ahead of the official opening.

More than 1,100 people took part in the day and £4,800 was raised and shared between three charities – Gafael Llaw, Eryri Hospital League of Friends and I’Can Mental Health as part of Blue Sky Charity for the NHS – and eight local primary school PTAs that got involved.