Paul Davies AM presses First Minister on failing roads policy and its effect on the economy
During First Minister’s Questions today (November 12), Welsh Conservative AM Paul Davies focused on the Welsh Labour Government’s failing roads infrastructure policy.
He asked the First Minister just how many of the infrastructure projects – committed to in Welsh Labour’s 2016 manifesto – does he intend to deliver.
Mr Davies pressed the First Minister – whose party’s manifesto claims that it has already “…delivered the Heads of the Valleys road dualling” on the day when the completion date for widening part of the Heads of the Valleys road has been pushed back for the second time this year.
Mr Davies said:
“It’s an eye-watering overspend, and hardly something for you to be championing is it?”
The AM for Preseli Pembrokeshire invited the First Minister to respond to other manifesto promises, including improvements to the A55 in North Wales, improving the A40 in West Wales, and the M4 Relief Road.
Of the A40, Mr Davies said that, as someone who regularly travels on that stretch of road, he knows just how little has been done to tackle this problem. Of the M4 Relief Road, he said:
“Well First Minister, your Government’s dithering has left communities in South East Wales without a solution to its congestion and in the meantime wasted millions of pounds of tax payer’s money.
“First Minister, is it not the case that your Government is simply on the road to nowhere when it comes to delivering road improvements across Wales and will you now apologise to those communities you’ve so badly let down?”
Mr Davies continued:
“First Minister you can spin this any way you like, but communities across Wales are frustrated by the lack of genuine progress in tackling Wales’ road infrastructure in their local areas. Now the Federation of Small Businesses has recently said that there is still no clarity as to how infrastructure elsewhere in Wales will benefit from the Welsh Government’s decision not to go ahead with the M4 and that 63 percent of Welsh businesses have been affected by infrastructure including roads, public transport, digital infrastructure and utilities.”
He concluded by asking the First Minster to address his party’s failing roads infrastructure policy as a matter of urgency before the next Assembly election in 2021.