Welsh Conservatives would not support charging drivers to use the M4

Commenting on the report published by the South East Wales Transport Commission, Russell George MS – the Welsh Conservatives spokesperson on Transport – said:

“The report’s finding make interesting reading, particularly the effect of the pandemic on individuals’ travelling habits.

“While there is a case for looking at, as recommended, looking at more flexible working arrangements for people, Welsh Conservatives regard a successful travel policy – be it for work, education, or pleasure – as a mix of public and private transport.

“We are also strong advocates for an M4 relief, something commuters, businesses, and businesspeople have needed for years, and have pledged that a Welsh Conservative government would deliver this.

“However, the question over introducing ‘congestion charges’ – less than two years after tolls, effectively a tax for entering Wales, were removed from the Severn Crossings – requires much more.

“The axing of the tolls has saved the average commuter or business £1,400 per year, and provided an estimated annual boost of over £100 million for the Welsh economy. Businesses have also benefited from strengthened links between communities ranging from West Wales to South-west of England by making it easier for consumers, business, and employees to cross the border. 

“Some businesses may prefer to pay for a faster and less congested route, but until realistic alternatives are in place, charging people to use the M4 is not something Welsh Conservatives would support.”

Matt Smith is a Conservative who stood for Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. He was a policy analyst at Vote Leave. He has written about Welsh politics for The Daily TelegraphConhomeBrexitCentralCAPX, Institute of Welsh Affairs, and GlobalVisionUK. You can read more about Welsh politics at www.mattsmith.org.uk/news