Welsh road network work gets £500m investment

Posted on 04 March 2022

​The Welsh Government has ringfenced £500m for major road upgrades across the country as part of its budget for 2022 to 2025, which was finalised this week.

The Welsh Government said that its investment in the Strategic Road Network (SRN) was part of maintaining the network, valued as a £17bn asset.

The £500m pot will be used to finance ongoing committed projects; not proposed future projects which are currently paused pending the outcome of the country's national Roads Review.

In June 2021, the Welsh government paused all its new road building projects as part of Llwybr Newydd (New Path) strategy. It has since commissioned a review to calculate the carbon contribution of the road network, in order to set targets to help achieve its net-zero carbon emissions pledge.

The Infrastructure Finance Plan, outlined as part of the budget, said: “Whilst a key focus of our investments are (sic) to continue our work to combat climate change, and continue to maintain and improve our biodiversity assets, it is essential to recognise the need to maintain and improve the condition of our largest existing asset for the safety and security of the people of Wales."

Planned roadworks that will be carried out in the coming months includes the dualling of section 5 and 6 of the A46, as well as a planned upgrade of the A40.

In terms of rail infrastructure, the Welsh government noted the devolved nature of much of the work. It said the classification of HS2 as an England and Wales project reduced its budget by half. However, the government confirmed £585m over the next three years towards upgrading track, signalling and electrification of trains.

“It is telling that the UK government’s recently announced “Integrated Rail Plan” will see electrification of over 75% of the rail mainline in England, whilst in Wales we are still languishing at 2%,” it added.

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