MORE than 60 bridges are sub-standard in Conwy county, the highest for any local council in Wales.

With 63 of the 291 bridges in the county requiring work it also has highest proportion at 22 per cent in Wales.

The statistics were issued by the RAC Foundation, which is a transport policy and research organisation which explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

Philip Gomm of the RAC Foundation said: “Conwy council would not want to feature so high up the list, but it is important to understand what the numbers tell us.

"Are the substandard bridges some of the very oldest structures in Wales built in an era when horses and carts were the heaviest traffic on the road, or are they more modern spans on strategically important routes?

"Prioritisation of work is crucial. It might be that some frail bridges, on what are little more than country lanes, can operate with weight restrictions indefinitely, whilst those that are critical for the economic success of North Wales must be kept in tiptop shape.

"Inevitably money is key to clearing the maintenance backlog but the silver lining to this cloud is that across Wales local authorities at least seem to have a comprehensive list of the structures they are responsible for and know what condition they are in."

A spokesperson for Conwy council explained the cabinet was aware of the problem.

She said: “We have identified 61 sub-standard bridges that don’t fully meet highway loading requirements. These structures are in the process of being re-assessed and capital business cases are submitted to secure funding to carry out bridge strengthening works.

"They will be part of the budget setting process in the next couple of months.

"The council has made enquiries with the Welsh Government and is pursuing all possible avenues of funding.”

She explained the discrepancy between the RAC and the council's figures was a result of the council having more up to date information.

The bridges include: Gyffin (Pont), Conwy; Trefriw (Pont), Trefriw; Penmaenhead Viaduct, Bae Colwyn; Faenol Avenue Bridge, Abergele; Diosgydd Road Bridge, Betws-y-Coed; Pont Ty Mawr, Betws y Coed; Cae’r Felin (Pont), Llanrwst; Henblas (Pont), Llanrwst; Tal y Bont (Pont), Llanrwst; Pont Fawr, Llanrwst; Leat Canal Bridge, Dolgarrog; Raynes Viaduct, Old Colwyn.