M4 decision delay leaves Brynglas residents ‘in limbo’
THE results of a consultation on improving the M4 - including whether to build a new tunnel - have been delayed.
The news has led a roads a Brynglas campaigner to claim residents in Newport are stuck in limbo while they wait.
Newport West AM Rosemary Butler said the delay is distressing for residents with some fearing having to leave their homes if the Welsh Government plumped for building a new tunnel at Brynglas.
The consultation finished last July and residents had expected that an announcement would be made at the end of last year.
But Welsh minister for transport Carl Sargeant has told AM Rosemary Butler that an announcement on M4 consultation will not be made until the Spring 2013 because of the complexity of the issue.
Jo Sweeney, of Campaign Against Additional Tunnel, said Brynglas people are in "limbo" while they wait the results of the consultation.
"We're very disappointed with the continued delay," she said. "We feel that the current threat to demolition of homes in Brynglas is detrimental to those living in the area and trying to sell properties.
"Until the decision is made it will have an impact on our community including the value of our homes.
Proposals on the table include building a new tunnel at Brynglas, improvements to the Southern Distributor Road and a new road south of Newport.
There were fears that the first option would need hundreds of homes in the city to be bulldozed.
Mrs Butler, who is also the National Assembly's presiding officer, said: "This subsequent delay is distressing for a number of my constituents and I have urged the minister to inform us of his intentions at the earliest opportunity.”
She said she will continue to push him on "this important and time sensitive issue".
Friends of the Earth claimed earlier this year that Welsh Government officials had admitted that the original consultation was inadequate after an environmental report had not taken place.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: "The Welsh Government is following due process and because of the extensive and complex nature of the issues raised during the consultation, it is taking longer in order to ensure that the many responses on this very important issue are given very careful consideration."
ARGUS COMMENT: Residents must know
WE HAVE huge sympathy for Newport residents waiting to hear whether their homes will be demolished.
It is a shame the Welsh Government does not share our feelings.
Last July marked the end of a consultation into proposals to ease traffic congestion on the M4 around Newport.
One of the options is building a new tunnel at Brynglas.
If the Welsh Government did this it would mean hundreds of homes in the area being compulsory purchased and knocked down.
Residents were originally told the results of consultation would be revealed at the end of last year. Today we learn nothing will happen until the Spring.
The Welsh Government says the delay is due to the ‘complex nature of the issues raised’.
Seriously? Surely these issues haven’t suddenly become complex?
Residents in Brynglas have been treated badly throughout this process. They have been giving little information and decisions have been constantly delayed.
The longer this state of affairs continues, the worse the impact on house values in the area. People’s homes are being blighted, yet they are being excluded or ignored by decision makers.
It is entirely wrong information is only forthcoming when the localAMasks questions. This is an example of big government putting process before people.