UK Department for Transport refuses to rule out overruling Welsh Gov on M4 relief road
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has refused to rule out overruling the Welsh Government on constructing an M4 relief road.
The UK Government department suggested that it could overturn the decision of Welsh ministers to scrap the plan for the 14-mile motorway near Newport following the rebranding of England’s strategic roads operator as ‘National Highways’.
Fears have been raised that it could use the Internal Market Act, which Mark Drakeford has described as a “power grab” to push the £1.6bn scheme through without the consent of the Senedd.
When the DfT was asked by Highways magazine if it would rule out such a move, it refused to do so.
It said while transport is a devolved matter in Wales, the Department for Transport (DfT) said that it may use the Union Connectivity Review under Sir Peter Hendy to address congestion on the motorway.
A spokesperson for the Dft told Highways: “While decisions about the M4 around Newport remain a devolved matter, we are keen to work closely with the Welsh Government to help ease congestion problems in areas vital for people and businesses.
“The Union Connectivity Review, led by Sir Peter Hendy CBE, will provide recommendations on how to take this work forward.”
The DfT said recommendations from the review will be published “in the near future”.