SEVERAL transport projects in the Gwent area have survived a Welsh-Government commissioned review of the future of the nation’s roadbuilding.

Better links between Pontypool and the M4, repairs to a storm-damaged route in Blaenau Gwent, and improved access to Severn Tunnel Junction railway station should all go ahead, the review panel has advised.

But a project to adapt the A470 west of Caerphilly should be abandoned because it would “increase private car capacity”.

Government deputy minister Lee Waters sparked controversy in 2021 when he announced a freeze on all new road-building, pending the outcome of the review.

Critics said the freeze would harm the economy, while ministers insisted the move was necessary to reach Welsh climate targets.

The publication of the Roads Review today, Tuesday, prompted an angry debate in the Senedd, in which some MSs from all parties - including many from the north of Wales - expressed disapproval at the findings, which included advice to cancel planned improvements to the A55 road and the Menai crossings.

In Gwent, however, the review panel decided most road schemes could be continued in line with the government’s aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions and get more people using public transport.

The panel backed a scheme to improve the A4042 in Cwmbran and Pontypool, consisting of a cycleway and modifications of five roundabouts.

The project would also mean a “temporary 50mph speed limit would be made permanent at approaches to roundabouts and could be extended”.

But changes to roundabouts at Croesyceiliog and Llanfrechfra should be avoided because “these are not congested junctions, and the scheme may increase traffic and worsen congestion elsewhere”.

The panel also said the government could support a project for the storm-damaged A4046 Aberbeeg Road.

Any works there “should ensure safe operation of the road, while minimising risk of substantial future maintenance costs”, but the panel said “from the evidence presented so far it is not apparent that there is a safety case for realignment of the geometry of the road”.

Similarly, weather problems have caused “ground instability” on the A469 in Troedrhiwfuwch, Caerphilly county borough, and the panel said the government could support improvements there as long as there is “consideration given to appropriate opportunities to enhance [walking and cycling options] in the area”.

At Severn Tunnel Junction, in southern Monmouthshire, plans to improve road access should still go ahead, the panel decided, because it has the “potential to support modal shift to public transport”.

But the scheme “must be carefully designed to prioritise [walking and cycling] and bus access, and not increase private car mileage”.

An option to link the station to the M48 should not go ahead, the panel added.