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M4 probe delay 'will not impact' on project completion

The M4 relief road would bypass the Brynglas Tunnels. Photo: Google Maps

The Welsh Government says a delay to the start of the public inquiry on the proposed M4 Corridor around Newport Project will not impact on the due completion date of the project in 2021.

It says officials at the Department for Transport, have introduced revised methodology to their new forecasting for growth, an unexpected change not shared in advance with the Welsh Government, which means a delay to the inquiry start date.

Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates says the public inquiry was due to start on 1st November, but the changes mean the inquiry will now not start until the new year, allowing time for the new data to be considered.

The inquiry, which is expected to last around five months, will now start by 31 March 2017.

We’ve made a strong commitment to deliver a sustainable, long term solution to the chronic traffic problems on this stretch of the M4 and I have been assured that, subject to inquiry approval, the M4 Corridor around Newport Project will still be completed in 2021.

– Ken Skates AM, Economy and Infrastructure Secretary

We keep our traffic forecasts under review and made clear to Welsh officials at the start of this year we were going to update our projections.

We are committed to working closely with the Welsh government and encourage them to deliver this project which will improve journeys for drivers.

– Spokesperson for thr Department of Transport

RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) is greatly disappointed at the delay to the inquiry into the M4 relief road. We are though re-assured by the Welsh Government’s pledge that this will not delay the scheme.

In a project of such vital significance for the long term health of the Welsh economy, it is crucial that all stakeholders work together to deliver it as soon as possible, and as in our Manifesto for the new Welsh Assembly and Government, we once again urge all political stakeholders to commit to it in principle as soon as possible.

– David Morgan, Policy Manager, RICS