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Welsh Government’s roads infrastructure record slammed by Leader of the Opposition

Welsh Labour Government’s described as ‘bogged down, stuck, and going nowhere”.

During First Minister’s Questions today (January 28), Paul Davies AM/AC – the Leader of the Opposition – took the Welsh Labour Government to task over its disastrous handling of roads infrastructure, including the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road.

Just last week, the announcement of a further delay to works on the vital A465 left residents, commuters, and business owners frustrated.

Construction of the route commenced in 2014 and was slated to be complete by the end of 2018, then 2019. In April last year, the Welsh Government said work would run into 2020, costing an extra £54 million, bringing the project cost to £324m. It now has a completion date of 2021.

Mr Davies added that the Welsh Labour Government’s failure to dual the A40 in West Wales and its vetoing of the vital M4 Relief Road were as other examples of its failures.

Mr Davies said:

“It’s a fact that communities are frustrated with the Welsh Government’s approach to road infrastructure in Wales and there seems little accountability from Ministers for your Government’s mismanagement.”

He added:

“First Minister, you’ll be aware of plans by Cardiff Council to introduce a congestion charge – a ‘Valleys Tax’ – to charge non-residents to travel in and out of Cardiff.”

Mr Davies pointed out that the proposal requires Welsh Government sign-off, and the he then asked if it was his government’s intention to approve it. The First Minister refused to.

He said:

“Those plans have been criticised by Members like Hefin David who has made it clear that the charge should not be brought in unless there are ‘… clear alternatives to car use.”

Mr Davies expressed his concern that if the Welsh Government does sign off the proposal, it could create a “them and us” situation between Valleys residents and those of the capital.

Speaking later, Mr Davies said:

“This Welsh Labour Government is acting like a driver ignoring their car’s satnav. First they circle a roundabout a few times, before taking the wrong exit down a country lane. They then have trouble reversing out – while blaming every other driver around them – before getting bogged down, stuck, and going nowhere.

“The long-suffering people in Wales deserve a government with drive and direction, and it’s not Welsh Labour.”