A new inquiry will look at the state of roads in Wales and what is being done to ensure they are fit for the future.
The National Assembly’s Econonmy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee will look at the current condition of Welsh roads and whether the funding and maintenance models in place are providing value for money.
Recent media reports claimed it would take 24 years to clear the backlog of road repairs across the country.
The Committee will also look at the viability and value for money of major construction projects like the M4 relief road around Newport, the A465 dualling programme between Gilwern and Brynmawr, the Caernarfon to Bontnewydd bypass, and the Newtown bypass. Costs for the relief road have already risen beyond £1 billion, while a recent Welsh Government announcement revealed the A465 is also projected to be over budget.
“Potholes and poorly maintained roads are a frustration for all of us. As well as making your journey uncomfortable they can seriously damage the Welsh economy and society as a whole,” said Russell George AM, Chair of the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee.
“Think of the millions of journeys made every year for business, for leisure, for health needs, school runs and so on. It is essential Wales has a well-maintained road network to keep the country moving.
“We understand that, at a time of budget cuts and financial pressures, local authorities are having to make tough decisions. But we intend to examine the current condition of Welsh roads and what is being done to make the network fit for the future.”
The terms of reference for the inquiry are:
- The current condition of roads in Wales and whether the approach to funding and delivery of maintenance programmes for the local road, trunk road and motorway network in Wales is effective, managed so as to minimise disruption to road users, and provides value for money;
- Whether major enhancement projects on the local road, trunk road and motorway network are prioritised, funded, planned and delivered effectively, and provide value for money. Relevant issues include the implementation of the Early Contractor Involvement approach and the opportunities offered by the Welsh Government’s Mutual Investment Model; and
- Whether Wales is adopting a sustainable approach to the maintenance and enhancement of its road network in the context of key legislation such as the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013.
A public consultation will be open until 27 April 2018. Anyone wishing to contribute should first view the Committee’s web pagesfor more information.