More consultation on Newport M4 work 'a joke', says Brynglas tunnels campaigner

FRESH CONSULTATION: There may have to be a second consulatation on work to relieve congestion on the M4 around Newport

FRESH CONSULTATION: There may have to be a second consulatation on work to relieve congestion on the M4 around Newport

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

AN ANTI-M4 tunnel expansion campaigner said news that there may have to be another consultation on proposals to improve the motorway was an “absolute joke”.

Last year the Welsh Government held a consultation exercise into options to reduce congestion on the motorway, including one plan that could have seen homes in central Newport bulldozed and extra tunnels built at Brynglas.

Work on the possible improvements has cost around £871,000 since 2010, with £485,000 spent on consultation work and £386,000 on assessing 100 potential measures. But Friends of the Earth Cymru (FoE) and Gwent Wildlife Trust say that the Welsh Government has admitted that its original consultation was inadequate after a lawyer’s letter said an environmental report has not taken place.

Jo Sweeney, of Campaign Against Additional Tunnel who lives in Brynglas, Newport, said people were being kept in the dark.

“This is an absolute joke,” she told the Argus. “It’s people’s lives that they are playing with here.”

From March until July last year residents in Newport were quizzed on four options – including building a new tunnel at Brynglas for £550 million or a relief road south of Newport for £830 million.

But in November the Welsh Government held a further month-long consultation on an environmental report into the proposals.

The FoE argued in a legal challenge that the consultation process had failed to comply with Welsh Government regulations.

A lawyer for the Welsh Government wrote back saying it had not yet provided an environmental report despite the one for consultation in November. He said ministers are in the process of deciding whether or not to formulate a draft plan.

It admitted there was “confusion” and said there will be further opportunity for consultation on both the draft plan and the environmental report.

Gareth Clubb, director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, claimed the Welsh Government’s own lawyers have declared the consultation “inadequate”. He said a “tremendous amount of money” has been wasted.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “The Welsh Government is following due process and responses received from the consultation exercise will assist in determining the way forward.”

Comments (9)

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1:25pm Thu 7 Feb 13

high x boy says...

a good use of our taxes I think not.
a good use of our taxes I think not. high x boy
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Thu 7 Feb 13

mr david says...

We need a new buypass come on you lot in cardiff pull your finger out .i agree with high x boy.
We need a new buypass come on you lot in cardiff pull your finger out .i agree with high x boy. mr david
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Llanmartinangel says...

The M4 extension was abandoned in 2009 after about 15 yrs of discussion. And we wonder why Wales is derelict. The best the Assembly can do is buy an airport no one uses. Genius. Without infrastructure Wales has had it.
The M4 extension was abandoned in 2009 after about 15 yrs of discussion. And we wonder why Wales is derelict. The best the Assembly can do is buy an airport no one uses. Genius. Without infrastructure Wales has had it. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Thu 7 Feb 13

welshmen says...

WAG Build a new Motor Way now, other wise dissolve yourselves as your a waste of space, the WAG were involved in a CPO with a property i own, they took 5 years to complete the compensation claim....
WAG Build a new Motor Way now, other wise dissolve yourselves as your a waste of space, the WAG were involved in a CPO with a property i own, they took 5 years to complete the compensation claim.... welshmen
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Thu 7 Feb 13

welshmen says...

WAG Build a new Motor Way now, other wise dissolve yourselves as your a waste of space, the WAG were involved in a CPO with a property i own, they took 5 years to complete the compensation claim....
WAG Build a new Motor Way now, other wise dissolve yourselves as your a waste of space, the WAG were involved in a CPO with a property i own, they took 5 years to complete the compensation claim.... welshmen
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Magor says...

When is the fire damage going to be fixed,it must be getting on for 2 years now.
When is the fire damage going to be fixed,it must be getting on for 2 years now. Magor
  • Score: 0

9:41pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Riley2012 says...

The way things are going i don't think the M4 will need to be made bigger/better, the way the government is going, there will be less vehicle's, due to motorist's and haulier's being taxed to hell and back of the road???.
The way things are going i don't think the M4 will need to be made bigger/better, the way the government is going, there will be less vehicle's, due to motorist's and haulier's being taxed to hell and back of the road???. Riley2012
  • Score: 0

9:32am Fri 8 Feb 13

Owain Vaughan says...

There ought to be a tax on misused apostrophes.
There ought to be a tax on misused apostrophes. Owain Vaughan
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Sat 9 Feb 13

Limestonecowboy says...

The time a decision is made the project will be out of date. The original M4 scheme running south over the levels would of been finished by now.

Who are FoE & what do they stand for... lets all get the bus?
The time a decision is made the project will be out of date. The original M4 scheme running south over the levels would of been finished by now. Who are FoE & what do they stand for... lets all get the bus? Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

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