Wales has abandoned all significant road construction projects

British Bridge

Wales has abandoned all significant road construction projects due to environmental concerns.

The contentious Red Route in Flintshire will not be built, nor will plans for a third Menai bridge.

The action comes after a year-long review and is a part of the Welsh government's National Transport Plan.

Environmental activists praised the announcement as "world-leading and brave," but some in the construction sector expressed concern that it might jeopardize jobs.

The accusations against the Welsh government of jeopardizing bus services come as a senior minister claimed that industry subsidies have not yet been determined beyond the summer.

According to the Welsh government, all future roads must meet strict requirements, which include not increasing carbon emissions, the number of vehicles on the road, driving speeds, or emissions, and not having a negative impact on the environment.

Ken Skates, however, asserted that regional decisions should be made by the Welsh government regarding the north's roads.

Former Welsh transport minister and Clwyd South Senedd member Mr. Skates stated that more clarity was required regarding how transportation in north Wales would be improved.

I firmly believe that decisions regarding active travel, buses, trains, and roads should be made at the regional level, the man declared.

"It's time to migrate northward, starting with the main thoroughfares. ".

We won't reach net-zero unless we stop repeating the same actions, Lee Waters, the deputy minister for climate change, told the Senedd. ".

Although the government was "raising the bar" to make sure any new road was "the right response to transport problems," the deputy minister insisted that new roads would be constructed in the future.

An M4 relief road has long been discussed as a way to reduce traffic in the Newport area.

The Welsh government declared in 2021 that it would be reviewing its road system.

An expert panel, headed by transportation consultant Lynn Sloman, evaluated 59 road projects and offered suggestions on which ones should be carried out, which ones should be scrapped, and which ones should be given another look.

Only 15 of these will proceed; the rest have either been rejected or will be changed.

However, in order to be completed, these projects as well as all others must meet a new set of rigid requirements.

The Welsh government won't take into account new projects unless they help the country adapt to climate change and reduce carbon emissions while promoting the use of public transportation, walking, and cycling.

Additionally, they must offer connections to places of employment and economic activity that maximize the use of public transportation, walking, and cycling.

Red Route start at Northop
The "red route" would have connected Northop to the English border.

The contentious Red Route in Flintshire won't proceed as scheduled. Instead, the A494 at Aston Hill will receive improvements.

Plans for a third Menai crossing between Anglesey and the mainland have been scrapped in favor of a review of ways to reduce traffic, increase the resiliency of the existing bridges, and encourage people to use other modes of transportation.

Additionally, Wrexham-area A483 improvements will be abandoned, and a review will be launched to look at "exemplar" car-use reduction projects.

Only a few more modest road improvements will be implemented.

The largest of those is the A4042 corridor, which runs through Torfaen from Pontypool to the M4, and was put on hold while this review was being conducted.

The A4076 at Haverfordwest and the A487 between Fishguard and Cardigan will both see improvements.

The announcement has been praised by environmentalists as "world-leading.".

We saw this review as a litmus test for the Welsh government, according to Haf Elgar of Friends of the Earth Cymru.

Were they going to have the guts to actually make the changes we need to see in Wales for the future, rather than just declare that there is a climate emergency?

"I believe we are seeing that today.

"I believe that we are witnessing a new beginning where genuine changes will be made to lead us to a greener and healthier future. ".

However, the construction sector is concerned that jobs will be lost and is requesting clarification on future infrastructure investments from the Welsh government.

The Gwent Levels
Due to environmental concerns, the M4 relief road was not built through the Gwent Levels as originally planned.

There is no doubt that the announcement is significant, according to Ed Evans, director of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association.

"What we've just experienced has caused uncertainty, but if we can start to gain clarity on infrastructure investments, whether that's maintaining what we've got or making new investments in energy, for example, then that will go a long way to ensure that jobs, businesses, and communities are safeguarded. ".

"If we're serious about addressing the climate crisis challenge, we need to become a society that supports multi-modal transport," added Christine Boston of the active transportation advocacy group Sustrans.

"We need to keep making improvements to the infrastructure that supports walking, bicycling, and using public transportation. ".

Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies posted the following on Twitter: "Labour ministers in the Senedd won't build new roads in Wales because they'll 'induce demand'.

Because it is obviously bad to encourage more tourists to visit Wales and to spend money in our economy. ".

Jane Dodds, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, praised the news.

"We've spent millions on new roads for far too long with no real improvement in traffic or road safety," she said.

. "

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