Wales politics

M4 relief road: FM to announce decision on Tuesday

M4 Sign
Image caption Proposals for an upgrade of the M4 relief road span three decades

A long-awaited decision on the Welsh Government's plans for the M4 relief road is expected to be made on Tuesday.

First Minister Mark Drakeford will make a statement to the Welsh Assembly on the £1.4bn motorway project to the south of Newport.

Controversial plans for a new motorway to deal with congestion through the Brynglas Tunnels have been around since the early 1990s.

A public inquiry on the matter finished last year.

If it goes ahead the 14-mile (23km) six-lane motorway would be built south of Newport, between Magor and Castleton.

Mr Drakeford, who has been considering the report from the inquiry, had said a decision was expected to be announced at the beginning of June.

The first minister has kept his cards close to his chest. While he is widely thought to be a sceptic, he has made no recent public statement on the merits of the project.

The findings of the year-long inquiry have not been made public, although Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said he understood it ruled in favour.

There is opposition among Labour AMs - including Lee Waters, who was appointed by Mark Drakeford to be a deputy transport minister but will not be involved in the M4 decision.

Plaid Cymru AMs are also opposed. Although Mr Cairns is a supporter, the Welsh Conservatives are not believed to have a united view.

The Brexit Party group of four AMs backs the project.

'Closed for business?'

Former Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies tweeted: "Will Tuesday be the day that the First Minister and his Welsh Labour Government put a sign up saying that Wales is closed for business?"

But Plaid has said the Welsh Government's declaration of a climate emergency, following protests in London, Cardiff and elsewhere, should mean the relief road does not go ahead.

Mr Drakeford's predecessor Carwyn Jones had been due to make a decision last year.

Mark Drakeford held off announcing the Welsh Government's views for the Newport West by-election, and had suggested the decision was also delayed due to the EU elections.

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