Boris Johnson says he still hopes to see M4 relief road

The Prime Minister says that his UK Government still hopes to build an M4 relief road at Newport but refused to say if he would override the Welsh Government to do so.In a new interview, he’s confirmed that the project will be included in a forthcoming review of the UK’s transport links by the chairman of Network Rail, Sir Peter Hendy.Road building in Wales is the responsibility of ministers in Cardiff who scrapped the M4 plan in 2019 on environmental grounds.The First Minister has repeatedly said there would be no u-turn, "Not while I'm First Minister because I've made my decision and it is an entirely devolved decision."

Mark Drakeford has said that the road won't be built while he's First Minister

In June the Welsh Government removed the long-standing planning protection preventing other developments along the proposed route which would make it difficult, if not impossible, to revive the plan.These obstacles haven’t prevented the Prime Minister and other senior Conservatives from saying they were still committed to seeing a relief road built.I asked him if he would intervene and override the Welsh Government’s decision even though that could cause a constitutional crisis, two years since I last asked him that question.

He has refused to say if he would override the Welsh Government's decision

He told me, “We're looking at a number of projects for the, for the Union connectivity review, including, including the M4, including the, the north Wales corridor, the A55 and all those and you'll be hearing more from Sir Peter Hendy, and his team in due course.”I put it to him that the Welsh Government has decisively rejected it and that that Welsh Government has just been elected by the people of Wales.

Although I asked him repeatedly if he would intervene and override the decision, he would only say that “we will work with the Welsh Government” and “let’s see.”Two years ago I reported that the important thing was the fact that the Conservatives continued to talk about building an M4 relief road, and what that meant about their approach to devolution, even if they couldn’t make it happen.

Two years on it seems those at the very top of the party haven’t yet given up on making it a practical reality.