M4 Relief Road Announcement: Reaction from the Leader of Cardiff Council

Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: "We have consistently argued that Cardiff's future prosperity relies on an effective transport infrastructure, with seamless access to the UK's motorway network, and free-flowing routes into, and around the city. 

"It is clear that the First Minister and Cabinet have deliberated carefully on this decision, with finely balanced arguments, and strongly held views both in favour and against a new road. Whilst respecting their conclusions today, it is also clear that urgent investment is still desperately needed in the transport infrastructure of the region. 

"In particular, it is vital that the Welsh Government's next steps quickly bring forward effective solutions for the Brynglas Tunnels, to ensure that Newport, Cardiff and the region has a strong road network in place, providing unhindered access to the national motorway network in order to secure future prosperity for Wales. 

"This must be seen in the wider economic context of Wales. The Cardiff Capital Region is the country's economic engine, with Cardiff alone delivering 20,000 new jobs last year into the Welsh economy. Yet, Cardiff has a transport network built a generation ago, to serve a population of around 200,000 people. But soon the capital city will have a population of over double that, with Cardiff projected to be the fastest growing big British city outside London. And with around 100,000 people travelling in and out each day from across South Wales, mainly for work, it's plain to see that the city's transport network is straining under the pressure.  

"The capital sums previously earmarked for the new M4 must now be invested in South East Wales. Cardiff Council will shortly bring forward our transport vision for the city, with a series of transformation infrastructure projects - in rail, road, public transport and cycling infrastructure,representing a £1bn investment over the next 10 years.That, alongside the delivery of the Metro, could fundamentally reshape the transport infrastructure in the city. 

"We now look forward to continuing to work with the Welsh Government to make this game-changing investment in the city region's transportnetwork a reality."