Wales’s recovery from the pandemic will take a step back after the freeze on new road-building announced last week, according to the transport industry.
In response to the announcement last week that all new road-building projects in Wales will be frozen while the Welsh Government conducts a review, Chris Yarsley, Policy Manager for Wales at Logistics UK said, “The logistics industry relies on efficient road networks to keep the nation stocked with all the goods our economy needs to function, including delivering fresh food to supermarkets and raw materials for construction.
“The freeze on all new road-building projects is a step backwards for the country as it recovers from the impact of the pandemic.”
Just days after making the announcement, Welsh Government said their freeze did not include a proposed by-pass for Llandeilo which has been planned for five-years and was the result of an agreement between the Labour Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru to guarantee support for the Labour Party. Plaid Cymru MS Cefin Campbell represents the town and his party is reported to have told the Labour Party in Wales that it would refuse to side with it in future voting if they reneged on the agreement and bypass, making it impossible for Labour to govern.
Mr Yarsley added, “It is vital that the Welsh Government recognises the importance of effective road networks to the country’s logistics industry and the role the sector plays in supporting all facets of UK plc.
“Logistics UK supports extra funding for public transport schemes, as outlined in the findings of the South East Wales Transport Commission: private road users should be encouraged to switch to public transport options, where possible, to reduce traffic, emissions and free up existing infrastructure for other road users.”
“However, this should not come at the expense of new road infrastructure.”
It’s urging the Welsh Government to reverse its decision to freeze road building spending, to ensure that Welsh businesses and industry can continue to trade effectively and keep consumers supplied with the goods and services they need.
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods.
With COVID-19, 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.
Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.