The First Minister’s decision to reject plans for an M4 relief road will cost the Welsh economy hundreds of millions of pounds in lost investment, according to FTA, the organisation representing the interests of the logistics sector. Reacting to the news today (4 June 2019), the organisation is frustrated that plans for a ‘Black Route’, which would have tackled the road congestion that blights the lives of citizens and businesses alike on both sides of the Welsh border, has been rejected.
Sally Gilson, Head of Welsh Policy at FTA, commented: “As the organisation representing the UK’s logistics sector, FTA is urging the First Minister to reconsider his decision; the construction of a ‘Black Route’ is the only option for the Welsh economy and its citizens. The M4 is a vital stretch of infrastructure with international economic importance, yet it is blighted by heavy congestion. FTA’s members have consistently evidenced the urgent need to tackle these congestion issues; it is frustrating that the opportunity to deliver this essential investment into South Wales’ infrastructure has been missed.”
Ms Gilson continued “The First Minister’s decision will cost the Welsh economy hundreds of millions of pounds in lost private sector investment; as per the Welsh Government’s own assessment, it would have delivered £2 for every £1 invested. By improving the air quality around the Brynglas tunnels and tackling the road congestion through Newport, it would have also benefited local citizens.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.