Data obtained from the Welsh Government under the Freedom of Information Act seems to show that the cost of a bypass has escalated rapidly even before the scheme has got off the drawing board.
A spend profile dated September 2016 estimates total expenditure to complete the project by quarter 2 of 2020 as £10,190,000.00.
Just four months later, another spend profile dated January 2017 shows expenditure to completion in quarter 2 of 2021 as £14,390,000.00.
That is an increase of £4,200,000.00, or over 40%.
The spend profiles can be found here, and it is worth noting that neither of them appear to include the half million pounds of funding allocated by the Welsh Government to kick-start the scheme prior to April 2016.
Among correspondence that was disclosed by Cardiff at the same time is this rather cryptic suggestion:
“Gc’s other option if WEFO doesn’t stack up is to include this scheme etc within the North Wales Growth deal bid to UK Gov.”
Translated, this apparently means that in order to obtain funding, Gwynedd Council is advised to apply to the UK Government if even the Welsh European Funding Office is reluctant to waste money on this inappropriate and unnecessary project. But wouldn’t it to be fascinating to know what ‘etc’ stands for in this context.