Plaid Cymru has warned that new transport spending in Wales must not betray the principles set out in the National Transport Plant to provide better pan-Wales trasnport connections.
The Party has warned that the decision to press ahead with building a new M4 contradicts the Plan’s aspirations to connect Wales, and also the Welsh Government’s commitment to prioritising integrated public transport.
The current Labour Government has inherited and re-profiled the National Transport Plan, that was drawn up by the former Plaid Cyrmu minister Ieuan Wyn Jones during the One Wales government.
Plaid Cymru is holding an Assembly debate on the National Transport Plan on Wednesday (November 6th).
Alun Ffred Jones AM commented:
“We have seen this week that early borrowing powers are being granted specifically for a new M4 in south-east Wales. This contradicts the fact that the new M4 is still out for consultation, and is being looked at by the Environment and Sustainability Committee.
“Plaid Cymru obviously supports crucial investment into south-east Wales. But the investment should be based on sustainability. We are concerned therefore that no mention has been made of a borrowing deal for the South-East Wales Metro system, even though borrowing powers are identified as being one of several funding sources for such a scheme.
“Plaid Cymru also believes that there are alternative and less environmentally-damaging ways of improving the local road network around Newport, along with action on public transport to target the localised congestion.
“We also need to reiterate a positive vision of investing in transport in the whole of Wales. There is an obvious risk that excessive investment in a new M4 is an overkill solution and could make investment in the north-west of Wales less likely.
“We don’t yet know what the borrowing limits will be for the Welsh Government under the UK Government commitment made last week. But we know that there are pressing needs in the north, not only including the resilience of the A55 expressway, but capacity across the Menai strait and the need to reopen the railway line between Caernarfon and Bangor.
“Plaid Cymru will be working hard to ensure that the Welsh vision for transport is focussed on uniting our nation and ensuring all parts of Wales benefit from a cohesive and sustainable National Transport Plan.”