Transport Connections

Wales – in the House of Commons on 5th January 2022.

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Photo of Mark Fletcher Mark Fletcher Conservative, Bolsover

What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on improving transport connections between Wales and the rest of the UK.

Photo of Simon Hart Simon Hart The Secretary of State for Wales

Effective and resilient cross-border transport links are vital for levelling up every part of Wales and the rest of the UK, which is why we commissioned Sir Peter Hendy to lead the Union connectivity review. Notably his review recognised the importance of the north and south Wales transport corridors.

Photo of Mark Fletcher Mark Fletcher Conservative, Bolsover

The Secretary of State will know that certain roads, such as the M4 and the A55 in north Wales, connect our great Union and are therefore the property of the whole Union. Does he agree that these roads should be treated as pan-UK roads and should be overseen in a similar way to how the European Union oversees the trans-European transport network?

Photo of Simon Hart Simon Hart The Secretary of State for Wales

My hon. Friend makes a very good point. He will have heard me refer to the M4 on many occasions as a vital asset that joins the European mainland to the Republic of Ireland. It is not just a Welsh road; it is of economic significance to the UK and more widely, and it plays a strategic role. That, combined with the slightly mysterious position that the Welsh Government have adopted on a moratorium on road building, leads me to the conclusion that he has reached, which is that there are better ways of maintaining and improving the UK-wide network, including roads that are exclusively in Wales.