The Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters will announce a freeze on new road building projects, whilst a review of highway schemes across Wales is carried out.
The freeze affects major road building projects such as the long-awaited Llandeilo by-pass.
Any projects where work has started will be allowed to continue, but no new major road building projects will be allowed to start.
Lee Waters will tell the Senedd: “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 per cent 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.”
The move has been criticised by the Welsh Conservatives as a blow for the recovery of the Welsh Economy after the pandemic.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Transport Minister, Natasha Asghar MS said: “Many roads across Wales are not fit for purpose and have had a damaging impact on our economic fortunes, environment and public safety. Regular traffic jams deter investment and have contributed to Wales having some of the worst air quality in the UK.
“Ministers seem hell-bent on letting our roads deteriorate and forcing everyone onto public transport, despite major doubts over the ability of the network in Wales to cope after years of poor management and under-investment by Labour.
“Welsh workers and businesses urgently require more information about the scope of the review and the Welsh Labour Government’s long-term intentions for our transport infrastructure.”
The membership of the external panel that will carry out the review will be announced at a later date. The Panel will be asked to consider setting tests for when new roads are the right solutions for transport problems in line with Llwybr Newydd, the recently-published Wales Transport Strategy.
Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe said: “An over-reliance on the car has led to increased noise, poorer air quality, time wasted in traffic and an unacceptable burden on communities living near our most congested roads, often in areas where fewer people drive a car.
“As we move away from building new roads, Welsh Government has to work quickly to improve alternatives – listening to communities and making it easier for more people to make public transport and active travel their first choice.
“We’re seeing a shift away from the car – driving licenses in younger people have decreased over the past 25 years – but there’s work to be done to make public transport and active travel a viable option for everyone.
“We need an affordable, integrated, reliable, efficient and low carbon public transport network, that’s connected to things like healthcare, in rural areas especially, and housing, with safe and easy access to walking and cycling.”
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