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Welsh Govt: Talks 'continuing' over borrowing powers

The Welsh Government have refused to comment on reports that the UK Government will soon announce plans to back a new M4 relief road around Newport.

In a statement they said that they "do not comment on speculation."

We have been pressing the UK Government for access to borrowing powers in order to finance infrastructure investment. Those talks are continuing.

Meanwhile, we continue to consider the large volume of responses to our consultation on M4 corridor enhancements from Magor to Castleton.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Government plans for M4 toll 'could backfire'

We have seen with the M6 Toll that drivers can be turned off by the imposition of charges. There is already a toll to get into Wales on the Severn Crossing but no toll to get out.

There is no doubt that the M4 around Newport needs improving. At the moment if there is a bad accident and the road is closed there is no real alternative for drivers.

But if the road is tolled it reduced its economic effectiveness as a lot of people will be put off using it and will simply avoid it.

– Edmund King, AA President

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AA: Drivers from England to Wales would pay twice

The prospect of a new toll road relieving pressure on the M4 has reportedly been welcomed by motoring groups.

Nick Payne of the Road Haulage Association is quoted in the Times (£) as saying that the road would "make a big difference to traffic in and out of Wales".

A spokesman for the AA, while welcoming a relief road, said that charging a toll on the road would “double the injury” for drivers as many would already have paid £6.20 to cross the Severn Bridge.

Toll road 'part of multibillion-pound package of upgrades'

The government is reportedly planning to agree to a new toll road on the M4 in South Wales, but this is part of a multibillion-pound scheme of road upgrades in the UK.

According to the Times, the other upgrades include:

  • A1 between Newcastle and Berwick-Upon-Tweed to be converted to a dual carriageway
  • Widening of the A47 in Norfolk
  • A303 to be turned into a continuous dual-carriageway