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Dropped toll road scheme cost £15M

An abandoned major road project cost more than £15M in design development over the last 10 years, an MP has revealed.

A toll road plan designed to ease congestion on the M4 was dropped by the Welsh Assembly last month because costs had ballooned to more than three times the original budget.

But figures obtained by south Wales east assembly member William Graham have shown that the design development alone has swallowed up £15.57 million since 1998.

The route between Magor and Castleton, near Newport, was originally projected to cost £340 million, but deputy first minister Ieuan Wyn Jones announced the bill had snowballed to £1 billion.

The Assembly Government said the work already completed could be used to deliver cheaper alternatives to the relief road.

The Welsh Conservatives condemned scrapping the project claiming it limited the region’s prospects for economic growth.

Graham said: “The proposed M4 relief road was one of two major strategic requirements for the transport network in south east Wales.

“While we accept that major projects such as this inevitably require careful planning over a number of years, £15 million has effectively been wasted by the Assembly Government’s decision to abandon it.”

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