Alternative to M4 relief road proposed by transport expert
2:24pm Sunday 8th December 2013 in News
A REPORT has said another road could tackle the M4's traffic problems better than the proposed relief motorway.
The Blue Route, jointly published by the Institute for Welsh Affairs and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, proposes an alternative road that would cost £380 million rather than the Welsh Government’s planned £936 million project.
It proposes that a new dual carriageway would be built using the A48 Newport Southern Distributor Road and the former Steelworks Road on the eastern side of the city.
The report was prepared by Professor Stuart Cole, a transport expert who has advised Welsh and UK governments.
He said the dearer motorway plan fails to predict the impact of the Metro light rail system and over accounts for the growth of traffic.
He said: “The issue is whether the Welsh Government’s present motorway option provides an unnecessary increase in capacity and in consequence unnecessary expenditure.
“The Blue Route would deliver what is needed at a much lower cost and with significantly less impact on the environment.”
The Welsh Government forecast that there would need to be a 20 per cent increase in traffic capacity by 2035 in their consultation paper, M4 Corridor around Newport.
But Professor Cole said a new motorway would move up to 40 per cent of existing traffic away from the present M4.
He said: “The consultation paper takes no account of the impact of rail electrification or the Metro developments along the M4 corridor. The Newcastle Metro built in the 1990s, and the Bordeaux Tram network completed in 2004, reduced peak traffic flows into those cities by over 30 per cent.
“A similar impact could be expected in Newport and Cardiff. Electrification of the South Wales Mainline alone would reduce M4 peak traffic flows by up to 15 per cent.
“The Blue Route would solve the congestion issue on the M4 as it arises. Moreover, since it could be built sooner that the motorway it could ease congestion earlier.
“Combined with the Metro and rail electrification it would provide more than adequate relief to congestion over the period to 2035.”
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