Wales politics

M4 relief road inquiry cost over £11m

M4 at Newport

The inquiry into the proposed £1.4bn M4 relief road has cost over £11m, BBC Wales has learned.

It began in February 2017 and finished taking evidence in March, with suggestions that the report could be up to 500 pages long.

The Welsh Government wants to build a new 14-mile (23km) six-lane stretch of motorway south of Newport.

A freedom of information request by BBC Wales revealed that the total cost of the year-long inquiry was £11,465,242.

In 2016, Economy Secretary Ken Skates announced the public inquiry to look at the business case for the Welsh Government's favoured black route, to ensure it represented value for money.

It would include a bridge across the River Usk, as well as major remodelling of junctions 23 and 29 of the M4.

The inquiry's costs include over a million pounds in legal costs and nearly £9m of "professional fees".

The total cost of £11,465,242 is comprised of:

  • Independent inspectors - £445,708
  • Inspector's team - £89,865
  • Legal costs - £1,128,761
  • Professional fees - £8,728,553
  • Administration - £1,072,354.

The figure will increase as the costs of the inspector and his team are ongoing until the completion of the report, expected to be published by the end of 2018.

The inquiry received 335 formal objections and 192 letters of support.

Image copyright BBC/Google
Image caption This map shows the route of the proposed M4 Relief Road - the "black route" is in green

More on this story