Recently, the government of Wales has confirmed its plans to give AMs (Assembly Members) an opportunity to vote on its scheme to build a relief road of 15 miles in length on Newport’s M4, which reportedly costs a total of £1.4 billion, or even more.
This may be due to the fact that some Assembly Members from the Labour Party have raised certain concerns and doubts regarding the project or scheme, which is also the focus of a public inquiry at this particular time. According to the transport secretary for Wales, Ken Skates, he is willing to listen to his colleagues’ views and opinions about the project.
The Secretary for Transport speaks
Secretary for transport Ken Skates adds that they have always preferred the black route option, and they will eventually make their final decision depending on the inquiry’s outcome, but he also thinks that due consideration should be proffered to all the Assembly Members in the Labour group.
According to a spokesman for the government, the government of Wales will hold a debate regarding the plans for the M4 during the latter part of the year.
Concerns raised about the M4 relief road versus the Metro
But Steven Howell, one of Jeremy Corbyn’s previous advisors for Labour and the deputy director of communications and strategy at the previous year’s electoral campaign, has also stated that the construction of a relief road should not be a project prioritised by the Labour administration. Mr. Howell added that a relief road will simply cause traffic and road congestion to other road networks in the area; he said that they should just spend whatever money is planned for the relief road on a project for the South Wales Metro.
But Mr. Skates, the secretary for transport, has said that it is crucial not to look at individual projects for transport. He stated that the Metro has been primarily designed to transport commuters from north to south and vice versa within the area or region, and the M4 plays a key role as the main artery or route for the whole of southern Wales, so it is necessary for this artery or route not to be clogged.
In the previous month, a senior official of the Welsh government told Assembly Members that the M4 project is estimated to cost over £1.4 billion, particularly when VAT is added. The government of Wales has said that the M4 construction could very well begin in the autumn, and the new road is expected to be finished by the end of the year 2023 if the decision is pushed through following the inquiry.