(Title Image: Welsh Government)
Lee Waters AM (Lab, Llanelli) has claimed that the UK Government’s decision to scrap Severn Crossing tolls has been used as a tool to force the construction of an M4 bypass around Newport.
A Freedom of Information request revealed by 2022 an additional 6 million vehicles will use the westbound crossings – a 42% increase compared to average traffic levels in 2014.
The AM told BBC Wales:
“First they tried to bribe us with borrowing powers if only we used it on a new road, now they admit ‘the effect of removing the tolls would act to hasten the requirement for upgrades to the network’.
“In all their modelling they assume that a new motorway will be built, but even if it does go ahead it won’t be open for five years and in the meantime they are unleashing extra traffic onto already congested roads.
“This is at best irresponsible, at worst a deliberate attempt to dictate transport policy to Wales.”
The Wales Office rejected the insinuation and said they have worked with the Welsh Government throughout the process.
A decision by the First Minister on whether or not to give the go-ahead is expected by the end of 2018.