Welsh Gov has a ‘dogmatic hatred’ of private car use, says Tory Senedd leader
The leader of the Tories in the Senedd has accused the Welsh Government of having a “dogmatic hatred” of private car use.
Andrew RT Davies made the comments in response to a move to impose a blanket freeze on major road projects.
Lee Waters MS, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, announced a freeze on all new road-building projects in Wales last month while a review is carried out by the Welsh Government.
Davies said it was “hypocritical” of the Welsh Government to “chuck a load of cash at Aston Martin”, and then pause the road projects.
The Welsh Government has given £19m in grants to the British manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers.
But Waters says the freeze is necessary because the climate emergency demands that we “do things differently”.
In a column for The National, Andrew RT Davies said: “Sadly, the Welsh Government seems to have a dogmatic hatred for private car use, yet were still happy to give grants to Aston Martin to build SUVs in the Vale of Glamorgan.
“Now I’m all in favour of ministers encouraging job growth, innovation and attracting businesses, but their economic strategy is full of contradictions.
“It’s hypocritical to chuck a load of cash at Aston Martin, and then in the next breath cancel road building projects altogether.”
He also said: “The Welsh Labour government’s recent announcement of a freeze on road building threatens to bring the Welsh economy to a complete standstill.
“In many cases, the decision will not have the intended result of reducing carbon emissions, and will increase congestion, often in residential areas.
“It will most certainly hold back our recovery at a fragile economic time and well and truly puts up a sign that says Wales is closed for business.”
Announcing the freeze last month, Lee Waters said he 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.”