All new road-building projects in Wales are being frozen while the Welsh government conducts a review. It means plans for the Deeside “Red Route”, the Llandeilo bypass, and a third Anglesey crossing will be put on hold.
Ministers say it is a necessary part of Wales’ effort to reduce carbon emissions and that all future roads must pass strict criteria which means they must not increase carbon emissions, they must not increase the number of cars on the road, they must not lead to higher speeds and higher emissions, and they must not negatively impact the environment.
The Welsh Government’s recently published Programme for Government shows how they plan to tackle the climate emergency.
Since 1990, Welsh emissions have fallen by 31%. But to reach our statutory target of net zero emissions by 2050, we need to do much more. In the next 10 years, we are going to need to more than double all the cuts we have managed over the last 30 years, if we are going keep temperature rises within safe limits. That means changes in all parts of our lives. Transport makes up some 17% of our total emissions and so must play its part.
We need a shift away from spending money on projects that encourage more people to drive and spend more money on maintaining our roads and investing in real alternatives that give people a meaningful choice.Lee Waters
Meanwhile, while countries throughout Europe have closed their borders to asylum-seekers and looked to discourage those who arrive from settling permanently, Wales says it is intent on becoming a “nation of sanctuary” for those fleeing war and persecution.
“There is a phrase, ‘Welcome to the valleys and the hillsides of Wales,’ (Croeso i’r Cymoedd a’r bryniau) because that is how we’ve always been — a nation that welcomes people,” said Jane Hutt, a veteran Welsh lawmaker who is responsible for implementing the program.
The Welsh government says it will continue to comply with U.K. immigration law stipulating who can come to Britain and what rights they have.
The government’s 35-page plan focuses on how to deal with refugees and asylum-seekers already living in Wales. It has been endorsed by the United Nations and includes funding projects to find homes for newly recognized refugees, introducing mentoring programs to combat loneliness and mental health issues among asylum-seekers, and increasing access to language tuition to boost their chances of employment.
There seems to be some crazy policy-making at work here. Surely adding to the strain on infrastructure by adding more users is counterproductive, if that infrastructure is not sufficient for requirements?