A WELSH Government decision to scrap a series of new road projects nationwide is tantamount to declaring "war on motorists".

UK Government cabinet member David Davies made the allegation after Welsh ministers published the findings of an independent Roads Review, which looked at whether new roads would fit with their environmental aims.

Mr Davies, the Monmouth MP, said jobs and opportunities had been thrown into question because of Welsh Labour’s vision, describing the news as “devastating” for the future possibility of a bypass in Chepstow.

The Welsh Government said its policy did not mean the end of new road-building but was instead "shifting our investment towards more sustainable transport", and urged Westminster to fund improvements to the South Wales main line railway network.

As the Argus reported last week, the review panel recommended most new road projects should not go ahead because they are incompatible with Welsh plans to achieve climate goals, including net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.

Projects in Gwent have largely avoided criticism, meaning improvements to the A4042 in Pontypool, repairs to weather-damaged roads in Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly county borough, and a new access route to Severn Tunnel Junction railway station can all still go ahead.

Several major schemes in the north of Wales will be scrapped, prompting criticism from Senedd members of all parties, and the panel has also recommended ministers abandon plans for M4 improvements west of Cardiff.

Mr Davies said the policy was a "massive mistake" and suggested it was incompatible with plans for new homes and the Welsh Government's own aims to cut traffic-related pollution.

"It is absolutely ludicrous to block the construction of any new roads when local authorities are being told to build new houses everywhere," he said, citing recent or planned developments in Abergavenny, Caldicot and Chepstow.

"The official explanation given for the decision to axe all major road building projects was environmental concerns, an often-repeated folly which has serious ramifications and suggests Welsh Labour is more than content to see motorists stuck in daily traffic jams," he said.

"Congested roads are bad for the environment, bad for the economy and will undermine efforts to achieve the ambitious target of net-zero."

Responding to Mr Davies' claims, a Welsh Government spokesperson told the Argus: "We can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing for the past 70 years - building new roads to meet demand - if we’re going to reach net-zero by 2050.

"This does not mean the end of road building in Wales, but it does mean a greater emphasis on looking after the roads we already have and shifting our investment towards more sustainable transport."