Wales to freeze out new road building


The Welsh Government is set to announce a freeze on new road-building projects, while a review of highway schemes across the country is carried out.

The recently re-elected Labour-led admnistration said its recent Programme for Government ‘shows how we will act decisively to tackle the climate emergency’.


Officials said the deputy minister for climate change, Lee Waters (pictured) would formally the review in an oral statement to the Senedd on Tuesday afternoon (22 June).

It is expected that he will tell Assembly Members: ‘Since 1990, Welsh emissions have fallen by 31%. But to reach our statutory target of Net Zero emissions by 2050, we need to do much more. In the next 10 years, we are going to need to more than double all the cuts we have managed over the last 30 years, if we are going keep temperature rises within safe limits.

‘That means changes in all parts of our lives. Transport makes up some 17% of our total emissions and so must play its part.

‘We need a shift away from spending money on projects that encourage more people to drive and spend more money on maintaining our roads and investing in real alternatives that give people a meaningful choice.’

Officials said the full terms of reference for the review will be published ‘in due course’ but that it is expected to consider ‘how we can shift spending towards better maintaining our existing roads, rather than building new ones, and look at all proposed road investments, whether funded directly by the Welsh Government or indirectly by grants’.

The Jack Williams Gateway Bridge, part of the A465 dualling scheme between Brynmawr and Gilwern

Also to be announced at a later date will be the membership of the external panel that will carry out the review. It will be asked to consider setting tests for when new roads are the right solutions for transport problems in line with Llwybr Newydd, the recently-published Wales Transport Strategy.

The May issue of Highways magazine has an analysis of the potential impact of Llwybr Newydd on road building in the country.

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