The following statement is issued by Zep Bellavia, Chair of the Newport Now Business Improvement District.
“The decision by the First Minister to scrap the proposed M4 Relief Road is not good news for businesses in Newport.
“While city centre roads are rarely impacted directly by congestion on the M4, the indirect effect of gridlock on arterial roads leading into Newport whenever there is a problem on the motorway cannot be underestimated.
“The majority of city centre businesses rely on road transport for their staff travel, deliveries and supply chains and the M4 is an inevitable and important part of this.
“Businesses in Newport have suffered from the M4 around the city not being adequate for the best part of 30 years.
“The BID’s Board of Directors is dismayed by the First Minister’s decision, particularly as it flies in the face of the recommendations made by the independent planning inspector following a lengthy and costly public inquiry.
“The decision is particularly puzzling given that the removal of the tolls on the Severn crossings has increased traffic and congestion and the landmark ICC Wales is due to open alongside the M4 in the autumn.
“While we recognise the environmental concerns raised during the public inquiry, we would suggest continued gridlock in and around Newport will do nothing to improve the environment.
“The BID would welcome a meeting with the First Minister to discuss his decision and the impact it will have on businesses in Newport.”