A55 Wales
Just an interesting road in Wales
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Boxing Day Floods 2015

December 26, 2015   

The A55 has been closed today due to severe flooding at Llanfairfechan and Talybont. Anglesey has been cut off by road.

There are more videos and interviews about the devastation caused by today’s weather here.

Hotel 70 Degrees, Old Colwyn

October 14, 2015   

On our way home from family holidays we would often be on the road at night. One of the landmarks we’d look for was a hotel on top of the hill.

The hotel was called Hotel 70 Degrees although it later became Colwyn Bay Hotel. It sits above the A55 at the top of a cliff called Penmaen Head. It was built in 1972.

hotel 70 degrees

It was called Hotel 70 Degrees because of the unusual angles used in the construction of the hotel.

hotel 70 degrees 2

Once a popular destination, unfortunately it closed in 2002 and was demolished in 2007 to make way for houses.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/5223874.stm

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/slanting-walls-seventy-degrees-hotel-2297985

http://www.photoramic.myby.co.uk/Pensite_colwyn_bay.htm

http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/hotel-70-degrees-n-wales.t3396

Rainbow Bridge, Penmaen Rhos, Colwyn Bay

September 14, 2015   

The footbridge at Colwyn Bay has become known locally as the Rainbow Bridge due to its shape.

rainbow bridge 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footbridge over the A55, Penmaen Rhosby N Chadwick is licensed under CC BY 2.0

rainbow bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking towards Penmaen Head and “Rainbow Bridge”” by Bryn Roberts is licensed under CC BY 2.0

More pictures can be found be visiting the links underneath the pictures.

Port at Holyhead

August 14, 2015   

The A55 runs right the way into the Port of Holyhead.

Penmaenmawr Quarry

March 27, 2015   

After passing the exit for Penmaenmawr, before you reach the Pen-Y-Clip tunnels you’ll see the Quarry above you.

You can see some amazing pictures here and here. This amazing picture shows the A55 below!

Most of the quarry is in use.

Read more here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penmaenmawr

http://www.penmaenmawr.com/historyQuarry.html

Broughton Shopping Park

February 27, 2015   

If you take the Broughton exit from the A55 you’ll find Broughton Shopping Park. This is situated right next to Hawarden Airport.

It first opened in 1998 and it has steadily developed to become one of the most high profile shopping parks in North Wales.

There are proposals to improve the look of the park. An extension to the park included new cinema and several restaurants which opened during the first few months of 2015. A further extension has been approved which will see a hotel and further restaurants opening, possibly in 2015.

BroughtonDev

 

 

 

 

How the cinema and restaurants are planned to look.

 

Stanlow Refinery

January 27, 2015   

As you drive along the A55 at night time you might see a tall tower with three red lights in the distance. This is Stanlow Refinery in Ellesmere Port.

stanlow refinery

Stanlow from a distance – geograph.org.uk – 684459” by Andrew Jones. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The refinery is situated on the south bank of the Manchester Ship Canal, which is used to transport seaborne oil for refining and chemicals for Essar and Shell and it  is the second largest in the United Kingdom after Fawley Refineryand produces a sixth of the UK’s petrol needs.

In the petrol crisis of 2000, Stanlow Refinery was targeted by protesters.

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanlow_Refinery

Anglesey Section, Llandegai to Holyhead

December 2, 2014   

 

The Anglesey Section of the A55 is the most recently built. It was completed in 2001 after a 27 month build.

In early 1999, UK Highways A55 Ltd, a subsidiary of UK Highways Ltd, in which Laing holds the majority stake, won the concession to build, operate and maintain the A55 trunk road across the Island of Anglesey, off North Wales. The new road is a dual carriageway 32 km in length. The project was valued at £101m.

The bid included building the new 32km of the road, 12km of maintenance of the A5 and the maintenance of the two Menai Bridges.

Laing earns significant amounts from the road. £16million a year is generated from ‘shadow tolls’ from the road (based on the number of vehicles using the road). By December 2028 (when the contract ends) it is estimated that the company will earn £400million.

Concerns have been raised by residents who argue that the faster road has taken away business from them when drivers had to use the A5 previously.

The route is a very clear run across the island which crosses the water onto Holyhead via a new bridge which runs parallel to the A5 bridge.

LINKS:

http://ciht.org.uk/motorway/a55wales.htm

http://www.holyhead.com/a55/

http://pppforum.com/case-studies/a55-llandegai-holyhead-trunk-road

http://www.laing.com/project_portfolio/44/118/a55-road-north-wales-uk.html

RAF Valley

October 31, 2014   

raf valley

RAF Valley is a Royal Air Force Station on Anglesey. Although it’s hard to spot it whilst driving, you might spot or hear several jets flying over the island and North-West Wales.

The airfield was constructed during World War Two in 1940 and opened for operations on 1 February 1941 as a Fighter Sector Station with the task of providing defence cover for England’s industrial north-west and shipping in the Irish Sea.

After the war, during 1950 many improvements were made to the hangars and buildings at Valley and on 1 April 1951 training commenced for fighter pilots on Vampire and Meteor jet aircraft.

These days, RAF Valley is also home to a squadron of Sea King helicopters. These are busy in the Search and Rescue role, rescuing people from ships in the Irish Sea, from the mountains of nearby Snowdonia and elsewhere. The mountain rescue work in Snowdonia is coordinated with the constituent teams of the North Wales Mountain Rescue Association. HRH The Duke of Cambridge, second-in-line to t

he British Throne, was assigned to C Flight, 22 Squadron at RAF Valley, as a pilot flying the Sea King search and rescue helicopter. He finished his last shift as a pilot on Tuesday 10 September 2013.

Anglsey Airport opened in 2007. This is an airport owned by the Isle of Anglesey County Council on land leased from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. The airport

 is situated at Llanfair yn Neubwll on the Isle of AngleseyWales. The leased site is part of RAF Valley, an RAF station teaching RAF pilots using BAE Hawks. The Airport is operated on the County Council’s behalf by Citywing.

Plans put forward in early 2006 by the National Assembly for Wales have led to a subsidised weekday air service between the airport and Cardiff Airport, 12 miles west of the Welsh capital in the hope of improving the economy of Anglesey and North Wales in general. The twice daily service began in May 2007.

For residents of Anglesey, the air service is significantly quicker than surface transport. Gate-to-gate travel time to Cardiff is around 1 hour.

Links:

http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafvalley/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglesey_Airport

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Valley

http://www.pixaerial.co.uk/places/raf_valley.php

Bangor Hospital

October 26, 2014   

On your way past Bangor towards Anglesey you’ll be faced with an enormous concrete building. It’s not going to win any design awards. It is Bangor Hospital, or Ysbyty Gwynedd.

bangor hospital

The hospital was built in 1984. It is situated in the Bangor suburb of Penrhosgarnedd. There have been recent problems with being over-capacity. Also the hospital is apparently haunted!

If you need to find out more about the facilities at the hospital, visit the site here.

IMAGES:

http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/861/page/41562

SOURCES:

When it was built

MAP: