Lawyers warn over Newport M4 Relief Road

South Wales Argus: Lawyers warn over Newport M4 Relief Road Lawyers warn over Newport M4 Relief Road

LAWYERS have written to transport minister Edwina Hart warning her the Welsh Government is likely to face legal action over the M4 Relief Road.

A so-called pre-action letter has been sent on behalf of Gwent Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Earth Cymru ahead of a possible judicial review against the Gwent Levels motorway.

The letter is a part in the procedure groups take before launching a bid for a judicial review – and asks the Welsh Government to start a new consultation.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the campaigners have accused the Government of trying to circumvent the requirement for public consultation and restrict public discussion about available options.

They claimed it was doing this by asking members of the public about “very limited options” – a motorway through the Gwent Levels, a motorway through a slightly different part of the Gwent Levels, or a dual carriage way through the Gwent Levels.

Lawyers also said the consultation specifically excludes plans for the South Wales Metro.

Recently transport expert Professor Stuart Cole has proposed an alternative and cheaper “blue route” which would involve an upgrade of the A48 and the “Steelworks Road” which runs alongside Llanwern Steelworks. The Institute of Welsh Affairs warned there could be very little money to fund investment in other parts of the country if the Welsh Government opts for the M4 Relief Road.

The current consultation, which proposes the new road as a replacement for the M4 around Newport, is due to end next Monday.To contribute visit http://www.m4newport.com

Comments (6)

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11:56am Thu 12 Dec 13

_Bryan_ says...

Good idea.

Let's spend another decade talking about it. Meanwhile, nothing gets built, congestion worsens until eventually no businesses are willing to invest in Newport, or anywhere else in South Wales.
Good idea. Let's spend another decade talking about it. Meanwhile, nothing gets built, congestion worsens until eventually no businesses are willing to invest in Newport, or anywhere else in South Wales. _Bryan_

12:44pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Bobevans says...

Going via the Steelworks and A48 is hardly an improvement to the M4 it is just a Newport part by-pass. The M4 though Newport needs to be widened and improve. That stretch of Motorway does not meet modern motorway standards and is an accident black spot with accidents on it almost daily
Going via the Steelworks and A48 is hardly an improvement to the M4 it is just a Newport part by-pass. The M4 though Newport needs to be widened and improve. That stretch of Motorway does not meet modern motorway standards and is an accident black spot with accidents on it almost daily Bobevans

1:01pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Anne teak says...

Absolutely right Bob Evans.

How many accidents and lives lost on this dangerous stretch of road before this new road is built?

100, 20, 300.....1000?
Absolutely right Bob Evans. How many accidents and lives lost on this dangerous stretch of road before this new road is built? 100, 20, 300.....1000? Anne teak

1:22pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Woodgnome says...

_Bryan_ wrote:
Good idea.

Let's spend another decade talking about it. Meanwhile, nothing gets built, congestion worsens until eventually no businesses are willing to invest in Newport, or anywhere else in South Wales.
Let's not single out the badly needed relief road whatever route it takes. The "cost of the admission ticket" to Wales at the Bridges is a major disincentive to investors and the movement of labour. Just commuting over the bridge to work in England (or vice versa) costs costs £31 per week upwards.
[quote][p][bold]_Bryan_[/bold] wrote: Good idea. Let's spend another decade talking about it. Meanwhile, nothing gets built, congestion worsens until eventually no businesses are willing to invest in Newport, or anywhere else in South Wales.[/p][/quote]Let's not single out the badly needed relief road whatever route it takes. The "cost of the admission ticket" to Wales at the Bridges is a major disincentive to investors and the movement of labour. Just commuting over the bridge to work in England (or vice versa) costs costs £31 per week upwards. Woodgnome

5:11pm Thu 12 Dec 13

On the inside says...

Greens - Look good, sound good, never ever ever ever ever ever happy with anything whatever it is.
Greens - Look good, sound good, never ever ever ever ever ever happy with anything whatever it is. On the inside

8:05am Fri 13 Dec 13

rhionjones says...

At the Consultation Institute we are particularly interested in the legality of consultation processes, so this potential challenge is of widespread interest. Based on my reading of recent High Court cases I would be very surprised if a Judge could be persuaded to rule that the options provided were insufficient. I would advise opponents to the scheme to focus on the merits of the substantive case rather than seek to find weaknesses in the consultation. The law, however is not always predictable and it will be fascinating to see if this legal challenge gets anywhere ...
At the Consultation Institute we are particularly interested in the legality of consultation processes, so this potential challenge is of widespread interest. Based on my reading of recent High Court cases I would be very surprised if a Judge could be persuaded to rule that the options provided were insufficient. I would advise opponents to the scheme to focus on the merits of the substantive case rather than seek to find weaknesses in the consultation. The law, however is not always predictable and it will be fascinating to see if this legal challenge gets anywhere ... rhionjones

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