Penalising motorists or improving pollution? Some Cardiff commuters unhappy with plans for M4 charge

A new law which would see drivers charged for driving on the M4 and major A-roads like the A470 has been passed by the Welsh Government.

Under the plans, the government said it would only charge drivers if the reduced 50mph zones in Wales like Port Talbot fail to cut emissions.

The Welsh Conservatives said they opposed the idea of the charge ahead of a debate in the Senedd on Tuesday.

The Welsh government argue the plans, which are part of the Environment Bill, will “lead the way to a cleaner, healthier and greener future”.

Some motorists in Cardiff’s City Centre told CJS News what they thought of the charge coming into place.

One said that Mark Drakeford was “intent on penalising the tourist industry and motorists whenever he can” and that “drivers had become an easy target”.

Residents in Cardiff shared their thoughts
Residents in Cardiff shared their thoughts

The fact vehicles with higher pollution rates will be charged, also raised a concern.

“A lot of us are in that situation where we can’t afford to change our cars [to ones with lower emissions]”

Another said that the new law happening right after the new speed reduction laws could affect the amount of people driving”

“I think a lot of people will potentially avoid driving, what with the 20mph and this”

A third added that high emission vehicles are an issue in Wales at the moment.

“Wales is in need of a few more green initiatives to come in”. But he was also unsure if the charge was “ethically” the best way to go about the issue.

The UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also stated that the Welsh Government will be the model for a UK Labour Government in Westminster, which could mean that even more introductions of this charge even outside of Wales.