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UK Department for Transport refuses to rule out overruling Welsh Gov on M4 relief road

31 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
M4 traffic at Port Talbot. Picture by Ben Salter (CC BY 2.0).

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”.

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Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 month ago

More colonialism from Westminster towards Wales 😡. The UK Department for Transport making the case for welsh indy for us

Shan Morgain
1 month ago

There were years of consultation on this and the final decision by majority feeling locally and by Senedd was to drop the M4 project. Instead the plan has already begun to powerfully develop public transport so the region has rapid transit by train and coach between Bristol and Swansea. But lots of extra stations and stops for commuters and other local needs. This would create a lot of employment, improve local journeys as well as through traffic, and solve the M4 bottleneck without destroying natural habitats, raising health risks by dirty air (already a problem). But Tory chums stand to… Read more »

Vance
Vance
1 month ago
Reply to  Shan Morgain

As someone who is regularly stuck in the traffic. Any relief road is a very welcome idea. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to use public transport

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago
Reply to  Vance

But not at the expense of the Gwent Levels.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago

And no doubt they will steal the money from the Welsh government to pay for it.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

You can rest assured they will avoid paying the bill. If it ever goes ahead it will be a charge on the Welsh account.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago

Plaid, Gwlad, Labour and others. Surely it’s time for a united front and turn Yes Cymru into an Independence Party?

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

These people have no moral authority here.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
1 month ago

The devolved governments have the powers to do anything Wetminster agrees with, but nothing else.

R W
R W
1 month ago

If Westminster ignores the democratic will of the Welsh people they will turn even more people into supporting the cause of independence and getting our freedom from Bozo Johnson’s tyrannical mob who’s only aim is to keep us under their thumb.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

I understand the feelings of people stuck in the bottleneck around Newport, I’ve been there myself, but destroying the Gwent Levels is not the answer. If the UK government goes ahead with it – we’ll be independent within 10, even 5 years. Sh*t on us, we’re gone.

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