Response to report from the Future Generations Commission on the M4 Relief Road

Responding to the report from the Future Generations Commission on the M4 Relief Road, Heather Myers, Chief Executive of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce said:

“The concern expressed to me by the business community when the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act was passed was that it would be used as another excuse for things not to happen in Wales.

“This report from the Future Generations Commissioner unfortunately proves that theory right. There doesn’t seem to be any hard proposals, just idealistic views. These are not solutions to the problems Welsh businesses are facing right now, every day.

“This isn’t a balanced, neutral report. It does not take into account the views of businesses which we hear every day. The businesses who are struggling to be competitive, whose goods, staff and customers are held up in regular traffic jams and the businesses that will benefit by the opening up of new land for development.

“The Future Generations Commissioner is just repeating the same old, same old argument that we’ve heard for the past thirty years. Every time proposals for a new M4 around Newport are brought forward someone shouts “we should be spending that money on public transport instead”. However it always amounts to nothing, and we have no confidence that it will be any different this time.

“If the Commissioner really wants to look after the economic well-being of future generations she should be calling on the government to find the money to build the M4 Relief Road and improve public transport. Other countries manage to do both. Copenhagen is held up as one of the best cities in Europe for cycling, but in the 30 years we’ve been waiting for the relief road to be built the Danish government have built a road and rail bridge connecting Copenhagen with the Danish mainland and another with Sweden. Both costing more than the M4 Relief Road.”

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