Following on from the Glenfinnan viaduct in Scotland and the Royal Albert Bridge in England, this week it was the turn of the Britannia bridge, which crosses the Menai Strait between Anglesey and the Welsh mainland carrying the railway line from Chester to Holyhead, to be lit up in NHS blue.
Network Rail illuminated the iconic Britannia Bridge blue to coincide with the nation’s weekly ‘Clap for Carers’ and say thank you to NHS staff and other key workers – including frontline railway workers who are continuing to operate a safe and reliable railway to support essential passenger journeys and keep freight moving across the network.
Originally designed by railway pioneer Robert Stephenson and completed in 1850, Britannia Bridge recently celebrated its 170th anniversary. Devastated by fire in 1970, it was subsequently rebuilt as a combined road and rail bridge, using the masonry supports and iconic stone lions from Stephenson’s original structure.
Illumination of the Grade II listed structure by Elightened Ltd was supported by the Welsh Government – responsible for the A55 road also carried by the bridge – and by rail industry partners from Transport for Wales and British Transport Police.
Network Rail’s Route Director for Wales and Borders, Bill Kelly, said: “We are really proud of NHS staff and all key workers on the frontline against Coronavirus. We wanted to do something special to show our solidarity with them, as well as paying tribute to rail workers across Wales and Borders who have responded to this national emergency so magnificently.
“Passenger numbers are very low – which is fantastic as it means people are staying home to help save lives – but we continue to have a vital role: supporting essential journeys and moving freight across the network that is helping keep our supermarkets and pharmacies stocked with food and medicines.”
Ken Skates, Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, added: “The hard work, dedication and skill of individuals working to do all they can to provide crucial services and keep us safe and well through the Coronavirus crisis is an inspiration to us all.
“These people are helping keep critical services up and down the country in operation through enormous challenges and it’s important that we take time out to say a public ‘thank you’ to each and every one.”