FOUR leading business organisations have written an open letter to the Welsh Government urging the transport minister to “push forward” with plans to build the M4 relief road.

The Institute of Directors (IOD) Wales, the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF), Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Wales and the South Wales Chamber of Commerce have united to send the letter to Edwina Hart AM.

The letter reads: “There is a clear consensus that transport network improvements play a key role in enabling economic prosperity. In Wales, it is the collective view of our four organisations that the project that will deliver best value and greatest impact is the M4 relief road.

“That is why our business organisations have united to send a common message to you as the minister responsible for transport, that there is no time to waste in moving forward with this vital initiative.”

The organisations added that last year’s consultation signalled “fresh hope for progress” and that the momentum of the project should be maintained.

The letter added: “As the main transport artery feeding the South Wales economy, many agree that the M4 around Newport is currently not fit for purpose. First opened in 1967 as a dual two-lane motorway bypass, this stretch of road utilises some of the oldest motorway tunnels in the UK. The road was designed and constructed to standards and traffic flows much lower than today.”

The signatories, Emma Watkins of IOD Wales, Robert Lloyd-Griffiths of EEF Wales, Paul Byard of CBI Wales and Graham Morgan of South Wales Chamber of Commerce, also claim the M4 forms a “vital part” of the Trans-European Transport Network, which connects Welsh businesses and commuters to sources of wealth and opportunity.

The letter adds: “Wales does not need a temporary fix but a sustainable long-term solution that strengthens the Welsh economy and gives business the tools and confidence to grow and invest.

“As Wales’ leading business organisations, we urge the Welsh Government to push forward with this project without delay. Business stands ready to play its part in ensuring the project’s success.”

A decision from Ms Hart is expected over the summer.