Congestion is costing Welsh drivers £1.5 billion a year, and the Welsh Conservatives are calling on the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay to make infrastructure a top priority for 2018.
INRIX Inc – a leading international provider of real-time traffic information – has calculated the economic cost per driver due to congestion, with the average driver in Cardiff around £939 a year out of pocket.
Congestion has a £134 million a year impact on the Cardiff economy, with Swansea (£62m), Newport (£44m), and Bridgend (£24m) also affected.
But the impact is also keenly felt in North Wales, with the Wrexham economy losing around £28 million a year due to congestion.
Commenting on the figures, Shadow Economy Secretary Russell George called on the Cabinet Secretary to “get a grip” on his department.
Mr George said, “The Welsh Government needs to get Wales moving again.
“Gridlock is taking its toll on the Welsh economy, and Welsh businesses and motorists are bearing the brunt of Labour’s failure to get it under control.
“Central to that is making urgent progress on the M4 relief road, but the Cabinet Secretary also needs to get a grip on the projects already underway – the biggest of which has gone massively over budget and deadline.
“Eighteen uninterrupted years of Labour rule may have dented public confidence in the Welsh Government’s ability to improve transport infrastructure, but the stakes are simply too high to ignore the problem. The crisis demands innovation and action, without which motorists will continue to face car-maggedon on a daily basis.”
The biggest project still to be started is the controversial M4 Project relief road around Newport which is undergoing public enquiry at the moment but which will not start construction until later in 2018 or 2019.
It’s likely to be completed in in phases from 2022 and be fully operational by 2023 under a new plan announced yesterday by Welsh Government which is also spending an additional £136M on “moving” Newport docks south of the new bridge cutting through the heart of the current seaport and which led to Associated British Ports formerly objecting to the M4 Project relief road due to loss of business and jobs.