Green group backs alternative to Newport M4 relief road
10:36am Tuesday 10th December 2013 in News
GREEN group CALM (Campaign Against Levels Motorway) have welcomed the findings of a new report which has suggested an environmentally -friendly alternative to 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.
Professor Cole said: “The Blue Route would deliver what is needed at a much lower cost and with significantly less impact on the environment.”
CALM Chair Tom Clarke agrees. He said: “How will Newport benefit from a new motorway? A six-lane road through this special area will result in the by-passing of local businesses and risks terrible damage to biodiversity, agriculture, recreation and local tourism and may well open the doors to much more built development in this specially protected area.”
CALM have called the report's suggested new route ‘an innovative and cost effective road alternative’.
A spokesman said: “The new proposed route is by far the least environmentally damaging of the current new road construction options put forward by the Government.
“CALM urge the Government to consider this alternative route which wouldn’t cost the earth.”
CALM Chair Tom Clarke said: “The Government’s figures suggest the new motorway will cost nearly a billion. We think that it could be potentially much more. We know that Professor Cole’s Blue Route would be at least a third of the cost and far less damaging to the environment and could benefit Newport’s business life.
“Whatever the final price turns out to be, it’s a lot of our money. The equivalent of hundreds of new build primary schools or a year’s salary for tens of thousands of nurses or neachers in towns and villages across Wales. That’s rewards for all parts of Wales and not just the south east."
The Welsh Government is currently consulting on the Motorway proposals. CALM is calling for anyone concerned about the impact of the motorway to respond to the Government consultation. To find out more visit www.savethelevels.org.uk
Take part in the consultation at www.m4newport.com/consultation.html
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