Fears M4 relief road will eat up money
10:42am Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
A THINK tank has said the Welsh Government risks spending all money meant for new investments on the proposed new section of the M4.
Under conditions of the Draft Wales Bill published by the UK Government, the Welsh Government can only borrow £500 million for infrastructure projects.
Although the Welsh Government has said the new six lane motorway will cost £936 million, the IWA said costs might run to £1.25 billion.
Lee Waters, The Institute of Welsh Affairs' director, said: “A new motorway would swallow up all of the money from the initial borrowing powers, and would require a significant top-up from other sources. But ministers could fully fund the more cost effective Blue Route option entirely from the new funds.
“By upgrading the existing road network instead of building a brand new section of motorway the Welsh Government would have money left over to invest in other parts of Wales.”
Alternative plans have been proposed to the M4 relief road. One transport expert, Professor Stuart Cole, said his alternative road plan, which would follow the A48 Newport Southern Distributor Road and the former Steelworks Road on the eastern side of Newport to create a new dual carriageway, would cost £380 million.
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