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Tories seek referendum on M4 relief road

01 Mar 2021 2 minute read
An artists’ impression of the proposed M4 relief road through Newport which was scrapped in 2019.

Emily Gill, local democracy reporter

Newport council will decide on Wednesday whether to call on the Welsh Government to hold a referendum on the M4 relief road.

The motion put forward by Newport’s Conservative group, wants the Welsh Government to reconsider the decision to scrap the £1.3 billion relief road, which was scrapped in 2019 by the First Minister Mark Drakeford due to environmental concerns and increasing estimated costs.

The relief road proposal has been a contentious issue around Newport since the plans were first proposed in 1991.

The motion that Newport council will consider says: “This Council acknowledges the need for an M4 relief road around Newport and calls on the Welsh Government to issue a special directive ordering the implementation of an advisory referendum within the Newport Local Authority boundary area.”

The motion will be submitted by the Newport Conservative leader Cllr Matthew Evans MBE and seconded by Cllr William Routley.

Newport’s deputy Conservative group leader, Cllr Routley, said: “Mark Drakeford has ignored the wishes of the people, a vast majority, who want the Relief Road built.

“We’re seeing big firms opening factories and warehouses on the English side of the Bristol Channel.

“Just look at the distribution centres on the Western Approach Business Park with Amazon, Next, Farm Foods, Boots and more.

“Big business should be locating near Newport, but they are not because of the congestion on the M4. It’s affecting our economy immensely. Our City desperately needs the Relief Road.”

Newport’s Labour group were contacted for comment.

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