Alternative to M4 relief road proposed by transport expert

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.”

Comments (14)

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3:04pm Sun 8 Dec 13

jerymp says...

Would be interesting to see some details of this blue route.
Would be interesting to see some details of this blue route. jerymp

3:05pm Sun 8 Dec 13

jerymp says...

It would be interesting to see some details of this blue route.
It would be interesting to see some details of this blue route. jerymp

6:23pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Ollie254 says...

Enough talking just build the motorway and maximise the potential of South Wales that is wholly dependant upon easy access past the Brynglas Tunnels. We have listened to the tree huggers and those who don't live here for far too long.........act.
Enough talking just build the motorway and maximise the potential of South Wales that is wholly dependant upon easy access past the Brynglas Tunnels. We have listened to the tree huggers and those who don't live here for far too long.........act. Ollie254

10:04pm Sun 8 Dec 13

bruceC says...

what happens then when you get to Tredegar park because when using the distributor road that because blocked up at busy times.
what happens then when you get to Tredegar park because when using the distributor road that because blocked up at busy times. bruceC

11:39pm Sun 8 Dec 13

jerymp says...

bruceC wrote:
what happens then when you get to Tredegar park because when using the distributor road that because blocked up at busy times.
That's one of the reasons why I would like to see some details
[quote][p][bold]bruceC[/bold] wrote: what happens then when you get to Tredegar park because when using the distributor road that because blocked up at busy times.[/p][/quote]That's one of the reasons why I would like to see some details jerymp

7:41am Mon 9 Dec 13

33daverave says...

The only way that would work is to rip up all the roundabouts and lights and have no junctions.
The man is a fool.
The only way that would work is to rip up all the roundabouts and lights and have no junctions. The man is a fool. 33daverave

8:50am Mon 9 Dec 13

Cllr Ed Townsend says...

Prof Cole is missing a number of points here. 1: The steelworks road serves 4,000 homes and a commercial development on the Llanwern steelworks site. 2: The Distributor road is just that - it distributes traffic to various southern parts of Newport.
3: He is quoted as saying : “The consultation paper takes no account of the impact of rail electrification or the Metro developments along the M4 corridor." You can't take him seriously, I am afraid. This is the man who a couple of years ago pooh-poohed the notion that a link from Ebbw Vale to Newport was needed.
I am afraid we do need a new road south of Newport. We also need to develop integrated transport systems across South East Wales. It is not an either or.
Prof Cole is missing a number of points here. 1: The steelworks road serves 4,000 homes and a commercial development on the Llanwern steelworks site. 2: The Distributor road is just that - it distributes traffic to various southern parts of Newport. 3: He is quoted as saying : “The consultation paper takes no account of the impact of rail electrification or the Metro developments along the M4 corridor." You can't take him seriously, I am afraid. This is the man who a couple of years ago pooh-poohed the notion that a link from Ebbw Vale to Newport was needed. I am afraid we do need a new road south of Newport. We also need to develop integrated transport systems across South East Wales. It is not an either or. Cllr Ed Townsend

10:37am Mon 9 Dec 13

_Bryan_ says...

Its all well and good to say they have an alternate plan that could be completed quicker and cheaper, but will it do the job needed?

We need more information before we can say whether this is a worthwhile contribution to the debate, or a pointless distraction.
Its all well and good to say they have an alternate plan that could be completed quicker and cheaper, but will it do the job needed? We need more information before we can say whether this is a worthwhile contribution to the debate, or a pointless distraction. _Bryan_

11:19am Mon 9 Dec 13

NakedDancer says...

What about all the years of increased congestion during the 'upgrade' of the SDR adding to the current chaos.

Its about time these self-publicising individuals and misguided ecology groups and the WAG took responsibility for the weekly deaths, injuries and massive economic cost of these delays to the Relief Road. Stop talking - get the Relief Road built.
What about all the years of increased congestion during the 'upgrade' of the SDR adding to the current chaos. Its about time these self-publicising individuals and misguided ecology groups and the WAG took responsibility for the weekly deaths, injuries and massive economic cost of these delays to the Relief Road. Stop talking - get the Relief Road built. NakedDancer

1:00pm Mon 9 Dec 13

jerymp says...

As I posted earlier let`s wait for details of his plan and if there is one and it`s rubbish let him know otherwise you will all sound narrow minded and axe grinding.
As I posted earlier let`s wait for details of his plan and if there is one and it`s rubbish let him know otherwise you will all sound narrow minded and axe grinding. jerymp

3:13pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Radio Wales says...

Where was Prof Cole's proposal during the technical and professional examination of the options last year? In the bin, that's where. A voice in the wilderness.

The rather myopic view of local peak times was considered by all to be a bit of a cheapskate distraction, which is why we are where we are now. The M4 relief road is the only sane answer to what has become a pressing international problem affecting everywhere west of Newport, this and the Bridge tolls/delays are strangling our economy. If something is not done in short order the birds will have the flats to themselves.

Prof Cole has completely missed the fact that the M4 is an arm of the European road network from Omsk to Cork (E30) and half of the problems around Newport are caused by the mixing up of long distance and international traffic with Newport's own domestic chaos which is two incompatible traffic types causing a continuous stream of accidents.

It is not a local problem and the only answer is to separate local traffic and by-pass traffic by streaming the M4 (E30) past Newport.
Where was Prof Cole's proposal during the technical and professional examination of the options last year? In the bin, that's where. A voice in the wilderness. The rather myopic view of local peak times was considered by all to be a bit of a cheapskate distraction, which is why we are where we are now. The M4 relief road is the only sane answer to what has become a pressing international problem affecting everywhere west of Newport, this and the Bridge tolls/delays are strangling our economy. If something is not done in short order the birds will have the flats to themselves. Prof Cole has completely missed the fact that the M4 is an arm of the European road network from Omsk to Cork (E30) and half of the problems around Newport are caused by the mixing up of long distance and international traffic with Newport's own domestic chaos which is two incompatible traffic types causing a continuous stream of accidents. It is not a local problem and the only answer is to separate local traffic and by-pass traffic by streaming the M4 (E30) past Newport. Radio Wales

4:02pm Mon 9 Dec 13

whatintheworld says...

its too late for a metro service in cardiff.

theyre doing up queens street atm for some reason.

most of the stations in cardiff could go and be replaced by a tram service, but its just not going to happen
its too late for a metro service in cardiff. theyre doing up queens street atm for some reason. most of the stations in cardiff could go and be replaced by a tram service, but its just not going to happen whatintheworld

8:59pm Mon 9 Dec 13

casto says...

lets see the mad prof try the m4/southern relief rd at peak times,1 breakdown and Newport is gridlocked.dont talk it prof ,live it.for a while and then talk about it,numpty
lets see the mad prof try the m4/southern relief rd at peak times,1 breakdown and Newport is gridlocked.dont talk it prof ,live it.for a while and then talk about it,numpty casto

10:17pm Mon 9 Dec 13

AlunJ89 says...

What utter tosh, the m4 is always jammed because of the brynglas tunnel bottleneck, and the constant 50mph doesn't help matters. The SDR is just as jammed in rush hour, especially at Tredegar park. This would be a waste of time and money, buy cheap, buy twice.
What utter tosh, the m4 is always jammed because of the brynglas tunnel bottleneck, and the constant 50mph doesn't help matters. The SDR is just as jammed in rush hour, especially at Tredegar park. This would be a waste of time and money, buy cheap, buy twice. AlunJ89

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