THE commission formed to look at alternatives to the scrapped M4 relief road could report back in less than six months, a Welsh minister has said.

The new commission was announced last week when first minister Mark Drakeford announced the long-planned 'black route' would not go ahead. The commission will look at all 28 alternatives presented to the public inquiry into the plans held in 2017 and 2018 with a view to finding "innovative" ways of solving issues with congestion on the motorway.

And, although the group has been given a deadline of six months to produce an initial report, speaking to media on Tuesday morning economy and transport secretary Ken Skates said it could report back sooner than this.


"They won't be comparing proposals against the black route, which essentially was the Rolls-Royce intervention - it was the best, but also the most expensive solution to that particular problem," he said.

"The commission will be looking at each and every solution to the challenge that we face with the M4.

"While I will be inviting the commission to submit their interim report within six months, if they are able to provide a compelling case for intervention before the six months are up we will certainly consider it and, if it offers value for money and it is deliverable, we'll be taking a solution forward."

The commission will be chaired by Ofcom chairman Lord Burns.