SDR idea is ‘crazy’ as Newport M4 relief road

A PROPOSED alternative to the Gwent Levels M4 relief road from a respected Welsh academic has been criticised by senior Newport Labour councillors.

At a meeting, members of Newport Council cabinet said the A48 Southern Distributor Road wasn’t suitable for an M4 relief road, as proposed by transport expert Professor Stuart Cole.

The professor’s so-called Blue Route would see the SDR and steelworks road upgraded to motorway standard for £320 million instead of a new three-lane motorway proposed in the current M4 consultation for £1.2 billion.

It is not an option being discussed in the current public consultation, which closes Monday.

Cllr Bob Bright, Labour leader of Newport Council, told the cabinet meeting: “The SDR is not suitable for an M4 relief road. It’s worse than the original route.”

He said the relief road had suffered from “consultation after consultation” – and endorsed comments by the leader of the opposition backing the M4 relief road.

“We’re absolutely frustrated, something needs to be done,” he said, comparing the M4 to a “blocked artery”.

“If we go on talking about it and have all these academics coming up with different ideas, nothing is going to happen,” he added.

Cabinet member for human resources and assets Cllr Mark Whitcutt agreed and said his own father, a civil engineer, has said the Southern Distributor Road “is exactly that – it’s a distributor road”.

“It was not designed to motorway standards, it has a low speed limit.

“It has a lot of roundabouts,” he said.

Bob Poole, cabinet member for education, said it was “absolutely crazy”.

The discussion came up during an item about a new regional strategic framework for South East Wales, which was backed by the cabinet.

It sets out a “vision and strategy” for the economy of South East Wales and is the result of the work of 10 local authorities stretching from Bridgend in the west to Monmouthshire in the east.

Cllr Ray Truman, deputy leader, said decision making “is always better at a local level” but said he was open minded about it.

Cllr Debbie Wilcox, cabinet member for leisure and culture, commended the report, saying collaboration “isn’t going to go away”.

Comments (9)

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9:38am Sat 14 Dec 13

Vauxfiat says...

Something needs to be done because it only takes a bump on the M4 and Newport comes to a standstill., I have noticed that the SDR is getting busier during the morning and evening rush hour because motorists travelling along the M4 are getting wise to the diversion between J28 and J24 so they can avoid the congestion at Brynglas.This then causes tailbacks at various locations along the SDR..
I have left my house in Lliswerry to go to work in Cardiff at 17:50 and, on some evenings, I have been stuck in heavy traffic along the stretch between the Statistics Office and J28 at 18:20. OK I admit, other days I could leave the house at the same time and be on M4 at J28 by 18:05 but that doesn't happen very often. Also, with the introduction of a pelican crossing by the Council tip, this is only going to add to the misery..
Something needs to be done because it only takes a bump on the M4 and Newport comes to a standstill., I have noticed that the SDR is getting busier during the morning and evening rush hour because motorists travelling along the M4 are getting wise to the diversion between J28 and J24 so they can avoid the congestion at Brynglas.This then causes tailbacks at various locations along the SDR.. I have left my house in Lliswerry to go to work in Cardiff at 17:50 and, on some evenings, I have been stuck in heavy traffic along the stretch between the Statistics Office and J28 at 18:20. OK I admit, other days I could leave the house at the same time and be on M4 at J28 by 18:05 but that doesn't happen very often. Also, with the introduction of a pelican crossing by the Council tip, this is only going to add to the misery.. Vauxfiat

10:51am Sat 14 Dec 13

The Red Claw says...

The only way that this route could be effectively used would be by building an elevated multi-laned roadway over the SDR, similar to those found in a number of US and UK cities. Upgrading the present SDR would presumably mean ripping out the majority of roundabouts, junctions and traffic lights thereby totally isolating a sizable chunk of the area, including its inhabitants and workers, from the rest of the city. I would be interested to know if Professor Cole has actually travelled the SDR route several times himself, perhaps during the morning and evening rush hour, prior to compiling his report.
The only way that this route could be effectively used would be by building an elevated multi-laned roadway over the SDR, similar to those found in a number of US and UK cities. Upgrading the present SDR would presumably mean ripping out the majority of roundabouts, junctions and traffic lights thereby totally isolating a sizable chunk of the area, including its inhabitants and workers, from the rest of the city. I would be interested to know if Professor Cole has actually travelled the SDR route several times himself, perhaps during the morning and evening rush hour, prior to compiling his report. The Red Claw

10:57am Sat 14 Dec 13

Votefornoneoftheabove says...

I cannot believe what I am about to type but, " Bright has got something right!"

The SDR is not suitable as a relief road pure and simple.

Well done Councillor Bright, know there is one thing I thought I would ever say.
I cannot believe what I am about to type but, " Bright has got something right!" The SDR is not suitable as a relief road pure and simple. Well done Councillor Bright, know there is one thing I thought I would ever say. Votefornoneoftheabove

12:58pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Bobevans says...

The Red Claw wrote:
The only way that this route could be effectively used would be by building an elevated multi-laned roadway over the SDR, similar to those found in a number of US and UK cities. Upgrading the present SDR would presumably mean ripping out the majority of roundabouts, junctions and traffic lights thereby totally isolating a sizable chunk of the area, including its inhabitants and workers, from the rest of the city. I would be interested to know if Professor Cole has actually travelled the SDR route several times himself, perhaps during the morning and evening rush hour, prior to compiling his report.
The SDR was poorly deigned in the first place and is it self another accident black sport. It would need a lot of work to upgrade it to a proper Newport by pass
[quote][p][bold]The Red Claw[/bold] wrote: The only way that this route could be effectively used would be by building an elevated multi-laned roadway over the SDR, similar to those found in a number of US and UK cities. Upgrading the present SDR would presumably mean ripping out the majority of roundabouts, junctions and traffic lights thereby totally isolating a sizable chunk of the area, including its inhabitants and workers, from the rest of the city. I would be interested to know if Professor Cole has actually travelled the SDR route several times himself, perhaps during the morning and evening rush hour, prior to compiling his report.[/p][/quote]The SDR was poorly deigned in the first place and is it self another accident black sport. It would need a lot of work to upgrade it to a proper Newport by pass Bobevans

1:01pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Bobevans says...

What is really needed is widening of the existing M4 and a Newport By-Pass

I expect we will get the usual poor solutions that cost a fortune but deliver nothing
What is really needed is widening of the existing M4 and a Newport By-Pass I expect we will get the usual poor solutions that cost a fortune but deliver nothing Bobevans

1:13pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Magor says...

There is only one solution a new M4.The current one is not fit to have ever been a motorway through Newport as its not even straight and level.
There is only one solution a new M4.The current one is not fit to have ever been a motorway through Newport as its not even straight and level. Magor

3:11pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Woodgnome says...

These are all just opinions and Bright's is no better than the Prof's. There are problems with either solution. One is sacrificing wildlife and some rural countryside for tarmac and the problem with the SDR is it's a less convenient route. You take your choice.
However, I do know that I have been delayed in queues at the Severn Bridge tolls for just as long as the queues at the tunnels. Both need sorting out not just one of them, so let's not kid ourselves.
These are all just opinions and Bright's is no better than the Prof's. There are problems with either solution. One is sacrificing wildlife and some rural countryside for tarmac and the problem with the SDR is it's a less convenient route. You take your choice. However, I do know that I have been delayed in queues at the Severn Bridge tolls for just as long as the queues at the tunnels. Both need sorting out not just one of them, so let's not kid ourselves. Woodgnome

3:55pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Oriel Bufton says...

Trust Bright to know better than an Expert! All he's known for is wasting other peoples money/
Trust Bright to know better than an Expert! All he's known for is wasting other peoples money/ Oriel Bufton

6:53pm Sun 15 Dec 13

Bobevans says...

Woodgnome wrote:
These are all just opinions and Bright's is no better than the Prof's. There are problems with either solution. One is sacrificing wildlife and some rural countryside for tarmac and the problem with the SDR is it's a less convenient route. You take your choice.
However, I do know that I have been delayed in queues at the Severn Bridge tolls for just as long as the queues at the tunnels. Both need sorting out not just one of them, so let's not kid ourselves.
What is being proposed with that is a Newport by-pass and whilst the SDR with some improvement to it may be suitable as a Newport by-pass it does not solve the basic problem of the stretch of M4 through Newport
[quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: These are all just opinions and Bright's is no better than the Prof's. There are problems with either solution. One is sacrificing wildlife and some rural countryside for tarmac and the problem with the SDR is it's a less convenient route. You take your choice. However, I do know that I have been delayed in queues at the Severn Bridge tolls for just as long as the queues at the tunnels. Both need sorting out not just one of them, so let's not kid ourselves.[/p][/quote]What is being proposed with that is a Newport by-pass and whilst the SDR with some improvement to it may be suitable as a Newport by-pass it does not solve the basic problem of the stretch of M4 through Newport Bobevans

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