Senedd to debate “economically irresponsible” scrapping of new roads

Senedd to debate “economically irresponsible” scrapping of new roads

Welsh Conservatives are using their opposition time in the Senedd on Wednesday 8th March to hold the Labour Government’s transport Minister to account on his decision to scrap the majority of new roads being built in Wales.

Leading the debate, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport and Technology, Natasha Asghar MS, commented:

“The Labour Government’s actions are completely economically irresponsible, but then this is what we’ve come to expect from the same Labour Minister who admitted that ‘for 20 years we’ve pretended we know what we’re doing on the economy’.

“With more electric cars joining the road network, Labour should be looking at innovative ways of futureproofing transport in Wales with emerging technologies to support drivers to go green. At the same time, we need the Welsh Government to boost public transport, increasing the number of options for people to switch away from their car – but the Minister thinks we should all get on our bikes, instead of getting on buses.

“Labour Ministers in Wales are slashing vital funding for buses, axing money for active travel and cutting investment in sustainable transport. The Welsh economy needs, and the people of Wales deserve a transport network that is fit for the 21st century and beyond. The Welsh Government must deliver just that because anything less is failing Wales.”

Independent Panel

Dr Lynn Sloman is a board member of Transport for London apparently she has a holiday home in Wales apparently a cycling extremist who lives in London to quote Dr Sioman “I must declare a bias here: I hate cars” the Dr has a holiday home near Machynlleth, to which she probably drives too.

Dr Sloman would be the impartial chairperson who led the Wales Roads Review Panel, the hater of cars was appointed by Lee Waters and was seen as the perfect choice by the minister to dictate the outcome of the ‘Welsh Government’ policy on new road construction.

Dr Sloman would like everyone to get a bike wales has an ageing population would a bike be the ideal form of transport in the South Wales Valleys?  

In June 2021, the Labour Government put 59 new road-building projects on hold whilst a government-appointed Roads Review Panel examined the projects based on four purposes, including projects which do “not increase road capacity for cars”.  Last month the Welsh Government, which has been Labour-led since 1999, published the panel’s review which scrapped or substantially amended 75% of the schemes looked at.

The Welsh Conservative motion reads –

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Notes the report of the Welsh Government’s roads review panel, The Future of Road Investment in Wales. (https://www.gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2023-02/the-future-road-investment-wales.pdf)

2. Regrets the lack of engagement by the roads review panel with the public, elected representatives, local authorities, businesses and the third sector and others during the course of the review.

3. Believes that the roads review panel’s recommendations to scrap investment in critical road projects designed to improve road safety, address congestion, decrease air pollution and deliver economic benefits fails to deliver the transport infrastructure the people of Wales rightfully deserve.

Image by Richard Eriksson

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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