Welsh Government Confirms M4 Relief Road Plan is Cancelled

Mark Drakeford, the Welsh First Minister, has confirmed that plans to build a relief road for the M4 have been cancelled. The plan would have helped to have alleviated congestion around Newport, but there were concerns about the impact to the environment.

In a statement Drakeford said:

“In my judgement the Project’s adverse impacts on the environment, taken
together with its other disadvantages, outweigh its advantages”.

He added:

“I do not consider that there is a compelling case in the public interest to expropriate the land that is subject to the CPOs and I do not consider that it would be appropriate or expedient to make the other Schemes and Orders.”

Ian Rappel, the Chief Executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust, said:

“We are delighted that the Welsh Government and Mr Drakeford have recognised that a new motorway would have been totally ecologically, socially and economically unsustainable for the people and wildlife of Wales. The Gwent Levels is like no other in the UK, it is vitally important to the well-being of not just wildlife but also people – it is green lungs of Newport and South Gwent. It should be cherished and showcased as a green leisure hub for Wales.”

Russell George, the Conservative Welsh Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire said:

“After years of procrastination and dithering from successive Welsh Labour Governments, £44 million spent on a public inquiry, and numerous pleas of help from business leaders, we’ve got nowhere. It’s shameful that the First Minister has poured millions of pounds down the drain in completing the inquiry, yet only to ignore its findings.

Congestion on this road is a foot on the windpipe of the South Wales economy, and is damaging our businesses and their future prospects. I’m now urging the First Minister to end the uncertainty and quickly give us an alternative to how he intends to alleviate congestion on the M4.”

Rhodri Morgan, former Welsh First Minister, Has Died at the Age of 77

Rhodri Morgan, the First Minister of Wales from 2000 until 2009, has died at the age of 77. The Labour politician had also been the MP for Cardiff West from 1987 and 2001 and member of the Welsh Assembly from 1999 until 2011.

Carwyn Jones, the current Welsh First Minister, said:

“Wales hasn’t just lost a great politician, we’ve lost a real father figure. In very many ways Rhodri wasn’t like other politicians, and that is why people warmed to him, trusted him and felt like they knew him so well. He was funny, clever, engaging on almost any topic and absolutely passionate about all things Welsh.

I owe him a great deal, just as we all do in Welsh Labour. He did so much to fight for, and then establish devolution in the hearts and minds of the public in our country”.

Tony Blair, the Prime Minister from 1997 until 2007, said in a statement:

“Rhodri was great company, a fund of marvellous stories and a shrewd and immensely capable politician”.

Parties have stopped campaigning today in Wales as a mark of respect to Morgan. He leaves a wife, Julie who was also a Labour MP, and three children.