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Fury at Labour 'war on motorists' as Mark Drakeford dreams up new ULEZ plan for motorways

NewsFury at Labour 'war on motorists' as Mark Drakeford dreams up new ULEZ plan for motorways

Labour has unveiled a plan to charge drivers a so-called “pollution charge” on motorways with the first scheme being tried out by Mark Drakeford’s hard-left government in Wales.

The charge for drivers on parts of the M4 which runs across south Wales will, according to the Conservatives, destroy the economy of the Principality and comes on top of Mr Drakeford’s controversial 20mph speed limit scheme.

Already the M4 scheme is being dubbed “ULEZ for motorways” after Sadiq Khan’s expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London is forcing thousands of drivers to pay £12.50 a day in charges.

But there are concerns too that Wales is a testing ground for anti-driver schemes and green taxes which will then be rolled out across the UK if Sir Keir Starmer wins the next general election.

Already, Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner has warned that ULEZ schemes are “coming to towns and cities across the UK” in a hint at Labour’s future plans.

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Sir Keir has also claimed that the Labour Government in Wales will be the model for a UK Labour government in Westminster.

The Welsh Conservatives are fighting to prevent the scheme and have forced a vote on the issue in the Welsh Parliament (the Senedd).

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew R.T. Davies claimed that the scheme is the latest example of “Labour’s war on motorists”.

He said: “Road charging is Labour’s latest idea to damage the Welsh economy and cause misery for Welsh motorists.

“Labour haven’t learned from the backlash to their blanket 20mph speed limits, and instead they’re arrogantly doubling down. Labour must drop their war on motorists and focus on the people’s priorities like our Welsh NHS.”

The Tories have laid down an amendment to a proposal to introduce charges on trunk roads – the M4 and major A roads – in the Environment (Air Quality and Soundscapes) Bill.

Part of the M4 through Newport has been considered as a potential clean air zone.

The Welsh government told the BBC: “The aim of this bill is to improve the air environment in Wales.

“Careful consideration has been given to all amendments tabled at stage three and they will be responded to during the debate.”

The plans are also being backed by the leftwing Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru.

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