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Deputy Minister for Climate Change announces freeze on all new road building in Wales

22 Jun 2021 2 minutes Read
Dualling the A465 at Gilwern. Copyright M J Roscoe and licensed for reuse under (CC BY-SA 2.0).

The Deputy Minister for Climate Change has announced a freeze on all new road-building projects in Wales while a review is carried out by the Welsh Government.

The projects currently in the planning phase include a new bridge over the Menai, a new a new eight-mile stretch of dual carriageway to ease congestion on the A55 in the north-east, and the Llandeilo bypass. The latter was agreed in a deal with Plaid Cymru for the 2017-18 budget.

Emissions from transport will need to be cut by around a half if Wales is to hit its net zero ambitions by 2050.

The deputy minister, Lee Waters, said Wales had to take action to “significantly cut carbon emissions”.

“Today, in my role as Deputy Climate Change Minister I’m announcing a pause in all roads schemes not under construction while we review how much headroom we have keep building new roads and meet our Net Zero emissions targets by 2050,” he said.

“I’m asking a panel of experts to look at when new roads are justified – for safety or access reasons for example and how we can redirect funding to roads maintenance and public transport.

“A Climate Emergency demands that we do things differently.”

In the Welsh Government’s new transport strategy published earlier this year, he said that “we need to change the way we travel. We need fewer cars on our roads, and more people using public transport, walking or cycling”.

The same report said that “emissions from surface transport must be roughly halved between 2020 and 2030 from 6 to 3 million tonnes Carbon Dioxide”.

The review will be announced in the Senedd this afternoon.

It comes after plans for a new M4 relief road passed Newport were ditched in 2019. The decision not to go ahead with the road was made by First Minister Mark Drakeford due to environmental concerns and increasing estimated costs.

Yesterday planning protection for the route was scrapped after 25 years, which means that other developments can now be built there. Highways and transport are a devolved issue, despite UK Government expressing a desire to intervene to get the road built.

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Gaynor
Gaynor
5 months ago

Whilst we need to combat climate change, we need better internal transport links in Wales outside of the SE M4 corridor. WHAT exactly is Wales’ contribution to climate change in emissions? If he wants to make a difference what about dealing with the level of commuting traffic heading to Cardiff. That is decentralising of gvt jobs and private investment out of Cardiff region, so that people can work in their home towns, thus enrichening their own embattled communities, supporting local businesses and re- energising these areas. Breaking their promise on a much needed by pass again is not the answer.… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago

How on earth can the climate change strategy be reinforced by piling all and any kind of investment into the “Greater Cardiff ” area, most of it into Central Cardiff ? These politicians and their business sector allies are paying lip service to some green gospel while impoverishing most of the remainder of our country. The country is crying out for improved infrastructure, not a standstill, and a dispersal of new investment so that Mid Wales, the S.W , N.W and other pockets of relative deprivation get a look in. To make those thrive there have to be means of… Read more »

Josh Foster
Josh Foster
5 months ago

The climate cultists are going to drive the Welsh economy into the ground. It’s heartbreakingnto watch. It’s completely unnecessary. We could be wealthy and thriving, and we can’t even blame Westminster.

Martyn Wood-Bevan
Martyn Wood-Bevan
5 months ago
Reply to  Josh Foster

Shut up!

Josh Foster
Josh Foster
5 months ago

Typical cultist – nothing to say. History will not be kind to environmentalists. Nutters. The poverty and suffering they’re creating is going to be horrific.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
5 months ago

This is going to result in another constitutional battle between the Welsh and UK Governments. It will be interesting to see if Johnson tries to override it and presss on with his project to improve road access from England into Wales. We are reaching a point where there will be a clash of sovereignties. A lot is going to depend on whether the Welsh Government caves in when Johnson comes waving his big flag and taking names.

Popsieonline
Popsieonline
5 months ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

Drakeford is intent on provoking an argument with Westminster. We, the citizens living in Wales, will be the innocent bystanders in his pretend mission to reduce CO2 emissions. If it were climate change on his mind he would look first to the airport. Bear in mind, too, that road traffic is a direct competitor for his train set. Not content with having control of the Sennedd, he would like to push the Tories out of wales altogether

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