M4 borrowing powers 'early priority' - Welsh Government

South Wales Argus: M4 borrowing powers 'early priority' - Welsh Government M4 borrowing powers 'early priority' - Welsh Government

THE new M4 will be an early priority for Welsh Government borrowing of up to £500 million if ministers decide to press ahead, Welsh finance minister Jane Hutt said today.

Ms Hutt, announcing £1 billion in investments, told AMs in the Senedd that a decision on the controversial M4 Relief Road consultation is due this summer.

She also confirmed that £300 million will be raised from private finance to finish dualling of the Heads of the Valleys Road.

The project will be funded through a new scheme that will limit the amount of profit that can be made.

She told AMs that the Welsh Government would make “full use” of the £500 million that ministers will be able to borrow as a result of the Wales Bill, currently passing through the UK Parliament.

Ms Hutt said: "The results of a consultation on the major enhancement of the M4 around Newport are currently being considered and a decision is expected this summer.

“Once a decision has been made it will feature as an early priority for deployment of our direct borrowing powers.”

The new M4 is thought to cost more than £1 billion and it wasn’t clear on Tuesday how the whole project would be funded if it went ahead.

However the Welsh Government could opt to build a cheaper road – such as the so-called Blue Route which would see the A48 upgraded and that is thought could cost £380 million.

Ms Hutt announced that £300 million would be raised to fund dualling on the A465 between Dowlais Top and Hirwaun.

A new “innovative” finance model will be used that will allow institutional investors to invest and allow an agreed market rate of return, but any profit above that would be capped and returned to the Welsh Government.

Dualling schemes to the east of Hirwaun are already funded.

Some £210 million would also be raised to build a new Specialist Cancer Care Centre at the Velindre through a similar finance model.

Finance minister Ms Hutt said: “The £1billion infrastructure investment that I have announced today represents a vital injection of investment at a time when the economy and our health services most need it.

“It reflects this Welsh Government’s desire to use the full range of its resources to boost investment. We are providing a reasoned, affordable and desirable alternative to the austerity measures that would choke off investment had we not acted decisively. "

Comments (4)

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5:00pm Tue 6 May 14

Magor says...

As its not their money I can see them going for the "blue route" which will be a total waste.
As its not their money I can see them going for the "blue route" which will be a total waste. Magor
  • Score: 0

10:34pm Tue 6 May 14

Sid Bonkers says...

Not quite the same sums but this could turn into Wales's HS2 debate. Are the benefits really worth £1B?
Not quite the same sums but this could turn into Wales's HS2 debate. Are the benefits really worth £1B? Sid Bonkers
  • Score: -1

12:36pm Wed 7 May 14

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

Sid Bonkers wrote:
Not quite the same sums but this could turn into Wales's HS2 debate. Are the benefits really worth £1B?
I'm still hugely skeptical regarding the £1b price tag for the relief road. Are we really expected to believe it's going to cost more than £70m per mile to build?

If I was a cynic, I might suggest that there's some naked profiteering at public expense going on, that lack of proper road safety monitoring/control on the existing M4 and the delays to the decision are intended to get people clamouring for it to be built at any cost.
[quote][p][bold]Sid Bonkers[/bold] wrote: Not quite the same sums but this could turn into Wales's HS2 debate. Are the benefits really worth £1B?[/p][/quote]I'm still hugely skeptical regarding the £1b price tag for the relief road. Are we really expected to believe it's going to cost more than £70m per mile to build? If I was a cynic, I might suggest that there's some naked profiteering at public expense going on, that lack of proper road safety monitoring/control on the existing M4 and the delays to the decision are intended to get people clamouring for it to be built at any cost. GardenVarietyMushroom
  • Score: -1

4:55pm Wed 7 May 14

Llanmartinangel says...

GardenVarietyMushroo
m
wrote:
Sid Bonkers wrote:
Not quite the same sums but this could turn into Wales's HS2 debate. Are the benefits really worth £1B?
I'm still hugely skeptical regarding the £1b price tag for the relief road. Are we really expected to believe it's going to cost more than £70m per mile to build?

If I was a cynic, I might suggest that there's some naked profiteering at public expense going on, that lack of proper road safety monitoring/control on the existing M4 and the delays to the decision are intended to get people clamouring for it to be built at any cost.
That's a conspiracy theory too far. The delays are WAG incompetence, nothing more. Between the bridge and the tunnels, South Wales is now completely inaccessible at certain times.
[quote][p][bold]GardenVarietyMushroo m[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sid Bonkers[/bold] wrote: Not quite the same sums but this could turn into Wales's HS2 debate. Are the benefits really worth £1B?[/p][/quote]I'm still hugely skeptical regarding the £1b price tag for the relief road. Are we really expected to believe it's going to cost more than £70m per mile to build? If I was a cynic, I might suggest that there's some naked profiteering at public expense going on, that lack of proper road safety monitoring/control on the existing M4 and the delays to the decision are intended to get people clamouring for it to be built at any cost.[/p][/quote]That's a conspiracy theory too far. The delays are WAG incompetence, nothing more. Between the bridge and the tunnels, South Wales is now completely inaccessible at certain times. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 1

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