State of Roads in Wales

The Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee agreed to undertake an inquiry into the State of Roads in Wales.


The inquiry focussed on:

  • The condition and approach to maintenance of the local road, trunk road and motorway network;
  • Delivery of enhancement projects on the local road, trunk road and motorway network; and
  • How far the approaches taken to highway maintenance and improvement are sustainable.

Terms of reference

  • The current condition of roads in Wales and whether the approach to funding and delivery of maintenance programmes for the local road, trunk road and motorway network in Wales is effective, managed so as to minimise disruption to road users, and provides value for money;
  • Whether major enhancement projects on the local road, trunk road and motorway network are prioritised, funded, planned and delivered effectively, and provide value for money. Relevant issues include the implementation of the Early Contractor Involvement approach and the opportunities offered by the Welsh Government’s Mutual Investment Model; and
  • Whether Wales is adopting a sustainable approach to the maintenance and enhancement of its road network in the context of key legislation such as the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013.


As well as a written consultation the Committee also decided to hold a Photography Competition.


The Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee asked the public to capture on camera their depiction of the State of the Roads in Wales

The competition was open for submissions from 7 June 2018 until 13 July 2018. All entries were judged by Committee Members at the Committee’s meeting on 19 July 2018.

The winning image was taken by Anthony Maybury from Wrexham and depicts a lorry passing by a large pothole on the A525 near Bronington.

All photographs will be part of a public exhibition and will be on display at the Senedd in Cardiff from 3 to 14 September 2018. The winner’s image will also feature on the cover of the report. The winner and runners up will receive a print of their image and the winner will be invited to the report launch.


The Inquiry – What was it about?


The National Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee looked at the current condition of Welsh roads and whether the funding and maintenance models in place were providing value for money and enough was being done to ensure they were fit for the future.

Recent media reports claimed it would take 24 years to clear the backlog of road repairs across the country.

The Committee also looked at the viability and value for money of major construction projects like the M4 relief road around Newport, the A465 duelling programme between Gilwern and Brynmawr, the Caernarfon to Bontnewydd bypass, and the Newtown bypass. Costs for the relief road have already risen beyond £1 billion, while a recent Welsh Government announcement revealed the A465 is also projected to be over budget.

“Potholes and poorly maintained roads are a frustration for all of us. As well as making your journey uncomfortable they can seriously damage the Welsh economy and society as a whole,” said Russell George AM, Chair of the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee.


Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 26/03/2018