Wales has decided to scrap the M4 relief road project from its integrated National Transport Plan (NTP).

Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, also the Minister for Economy and Transport said that the cost of the route was estimated at £340m (US$561m) five years ago.

The project would now cost as much as £1bn (US$1.65bn).

Jones attributed the construction inflation to non-completion, but also said that the descision would protect an area of Special Scientific Interest at Gwent Levels and possibly save the twaite shad-a fish that is protected under European law.

The Assembly Government have, however, decided to upgrade the southern distributor road south of Newport and 11km (seven mile) route, currently a private dual carriageway through the Corus Llanwern steelworks site.

To facilitate travellers the government has also decided to provide a dedicated bus service to Cardiff airport, increase the frequency of train services and improve safety on A4226.

Plans to build a new access road to airport have also been scrapped.