The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal has commented on the announcement that an M4 Relief Road will not be created.
Statement from CCR EGP Chair Frank Holmes and CCR Business Council Chair Neil Brierley:
“We are extremely disappointed by the decision to not proceed with a M4 relief road around Newport, and we must now work to adopt alternative infrastructure and technologies to ensure South Wales keeps moving.
This new road was critical in supporting and enabling the economic and industrial strategy for growth for South-East Wales, along with adjacent regions in Wales.
We fear that without it, South-East Wales – one of the fastest growing in the UK – will become paralyzed by an ageing transport infrastructure operating beyond capacity.
We welcome the £734m investment in the South Wales Metro, but the Metro can only do so much and is not going to resolve all our transport ills, certainly not in fully accommodating the transport of heavy goods. It needs to be delivered within the context of a wider plan.
Connectivity through clean growth and future mobility is a key component of our Economic and Industrial Growth Plan for the region.”
Frank Holmes said: “The Cardiff Capital Region must now champion a determined commitment to seek a positive way forward by adopting alternative transport infrastructure and communication technologies to ensure business and access to South Wales remain open, and it does so for the wider benefit of enterprise throughout Wales.
“A sustainable and fit-for-future mobility system through private sector investment and delivery is something that won’t just get the region moving, but something which in itself could be a competitive edge.”
Neil Brierley said: “We need to ensure the Cardiff Capital Region remains economically competitive with the rest of the UK, and that means ensuring we have transport routes which allow effective flow of goods and movement of labour.
“Failure to remain economically competitive will mean we will be simply unable to resolve the historical economic and social issues we are trying to address through a cohesive economic growth plan for the future prosperity of all. It is imperative that a series of alternative infrastructure interventions are developed, in conjunction with the South Wales Metro, to deliver the badly needed improvements to our transport network.”
The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Regional Cabinet Chair Councillor Andrew Morgan added: “The Regional Cabinet recognises that this has been an extremely difficult decision for the Welsh Government.
It also recognises that business groups who campaigned for this road will be disappointed.
The region needs an urgent package of evidence-based interventions, along with substantial public transport investment, which will create a clean growth mobility infrastructure for South-East Wales.
Public transport investment addresses a number of fundamental needs and solutions for our region: improved mobility, clean growth, improved economic performance, and better social inclusivity.
That is why the £734million South Wales Metro is at the cornerstone of the £1.22billion CCR City Deal.
It is a major project, and its positive effects will be felt quickly. But in the absence of an M4 relief road, we need to see it supported with further investment and associated transport enhancements, including potential projects such as Metro 2 and Metro 3.
Our key aims are to build a sustainable and resilient region, aligned to the principles of the Well-Being of Future Generations Act.
The CCR wants to work closely with Welsh Government to co-deliver significant programmes of shared strategic importance.
The Regional Cabinet would therefore welcome the opportunity to work with the Welsh Government to advance a fit-for-future infrastructure plan for the region which will no longer include the relief road.”