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Ministers exchange ‘liar’ insults in road building row

09 Oct 2023 4 minute read
David TC Davies (L) and Lee Waters

Martin Shipton

Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies and Deputy Transport Minister Lee Waters have called each other liars in a furious social media row over road building.

It began when Mr Davies, the Tory MP for Monmouth, posted a message on X, formerly Twitter, which said: “According to the Labour leadership having 27,000 people stuck on a waiting list for over two years and a ban on having any roads being built ever again are things to be proud of… Labour is failing in every area it has responsibility for in #Wales.”

Mr Waters, the Labour MS for Llanelli, responded: “It is a lie to say there’s a ban on roads. And you know it. Shame on you.” He reposted from February 2023 the Welsh Government’s response to the Roads Review it had commissioned in 2021. The response said: “Our transport system is one of the most important national assets we have. It connects people to one another, binds communities together and enables businesses to grow and expand for provision of a vibrant economy.

“It’s one of the most powerful and dynamic tools for community cohesion, social justice and inclusive economic growth that we possess. Of course, we will still invest in roads: we will still need to provide connections to support sustainable social and economic development, but this must be consistent with Welsh Government policy to prioritise public transport and active travel as well as support decarbonisation, modal shift and improve safety, recognising that needs vary across different parts of Wales.

“Reducing and re-prioritising our investment on new road schemes and increasing our investment in sustainable modes will assist modal shift, but it will also deliver wider benefits. These include less air pollution, more successful town and neighbourhood centres and a transport system that is accessible and fair for all. We recognise that this is a big and difficult change, that it won’t happen overnight, and it requires us to work collaboratively, across government and beyond.”

Mr Davies responded again, stating: “This is your own press release, Lee. Who is the one telling lies?”

Review

Mr Davies linked to the original announcement of the Roads Review in June 2021, which said: “The Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, will announce a freeze on new road building projects, whilst a review of highway schemes across Wales is carried out.

“The review will be announced in an oral statement to the Senedd this afternoon. The Welsh Government’s recently published Programme for Government shows how we will act decisively to tackle the climate emergency.”

Mr Waters told the Senedd: “Since 1990, Welsh emissions have fallen by 31%. But to reach our statutory target of net zero emissions by 2050, we need to do much more. In the next 10 years, we are going to need to more than double all the cuts we have managed over the last 30 years, if we are going to keep temperature rises within safe limits. That means changes in all parts of our lives. Transport makes up some 17% of our total emissions and so must play its part.

“We need a shift away from spending money on projects that encourage more people to drive and spend more money on maintaining our roads and investing in real alternatives that give people a meaningful choice.

“The full terms of reference for the review will be published in due course. However, the review is expected to consider how we can shift spending towards better maintaining our existing roads, rather than building new ones, and look at all proposed road investments, whether funded directly by the Welsh Government or indirectly by grants.

“The membership of the external panel that will carry out the review will be announced at a later date. The panel will be asked to consider setting tests for when new roads are the right solutions for transport problems in line with Llwybr Newydd, the recently published Wales transport strategy.”

Mr Waters responded again to Mr Davies, posting a message which said: “A freeze is not a ban. And the freeze has now ended. We are still building roads and will continue to. And you know that. This is desperate stuff David. I thought better of you.”


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Jeff
Jeff
7 months ago

Conservative eh? Let me check their record……

Sally-Anne
Sally-Anne
7 months ago

….and whilst these two silly men with only their own egos in mind were trying to impress people on social media: “A right-wing think tank has said it will be “expanding its network” into the Labour Party and will announce one of its peers as a patron in the coming weeks. Speaking at a Labour Party Conference fringe event in Liverpool, Duncan Simpson, executive director of the Adam Smith Institute (ASI), said it had been interested by some of Labour’s new policies. A Labour MP has called the announcements “concerning” and said the peer – who is yet to be… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

Like two crows fighting over a road-kill…

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago

The new bypasses around Newtown, Porthmadog and Caernarfon are miles long tarmac proof of who is lying here. It’s so hard now to keep up with the thousands of lies Tories tell, it would be easier to simply call them the ‘blanket’ lie.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
7 months ago

Bald men fight over comb…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

It’s not for me to defend Welsh Labour minister Lee Waters but I find pathological liar English overseer David TC Davies’s remarks hilarious. The first of many lies was made in 2016 when interviewed by BBC Wales and he stated how Wales would not be worse off if we voted yes to Brexit. And when we did, had our once EU structural funding slashed with their SPF (Shared Prosperity Fund) losing hundreds of millions. The second lie. David TC Davies was Welsh Secretary when rail electrification eas promised in their manifesto only for the Tories to scrap to decision. He… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Y Cymro
Windy
Windy
7 months ago

The answer must be that as David Davies says that labour will never ever build a new road, he must put his money where his mouth is and promise to resign as an MP if labour does build one. But there again if he did promise to resign who would believe him, and would he honour the promise.

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