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Welsh election candidates urged to back M4 upgrade

M4 Wales design 2by3

The £1bn M4 upgrade scheme must be a priority for whichever party takes power in Wales this spring, engineers have insisted.

Institution of Civil Engineers Wales Cymru called for all politicians standing at May’s Welsh Assembly elections to commit to the major road scheme.

A team of Costain, Vinci and Taylor Woodrow is working with consultants Arup, Atkins and RPS on designs for new stretch of motorway to link junctions 23 and 29 of the existing M4, with much of the current motorway between those junctions to be reclassified as trunk road. Designs for a new bridge over the River Usk were revealed last autumn as part of a public exhibition of the latest proposals.

Construction is currently due to start in 2018, and ICE Wales Cymru said in a manifesto ahead of the forthcoming elections: “We must deliver the M4 corridor around Newport as a priority.”

The body also called for electrification of the country’s rail network and accredited civil engineering degree courses in north Wales among other measures.

ICE Wales Cymru director Keith Jones said: “Infrastructure enables economic growth, connectivity and provides jobs – it keeps society safe and enhances our quality of life. We are urging all parties and prospective Assembly Members to place infrastructure investment at the heart of their policies and to commit to infrastructure in Wales.

“Wales needs a clear vision for infrastructure which looks forward 25 years, developed through engagement with governments, clients, investors, operators and delivery teams. We are at a crossroads – the next steps in the development of the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan are crucial to the delivery of effective, resilient infrastructure, and our transition to a low carbon economy.”

Watch a video about the manifesto here.

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