Newport council gives qualified backing to M4 Relief Road

Newport council gives qualified backing to M4 Relief Road

Newport council gives qualified backing to M4 Relief Road

First published in News
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South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

NEWPORT council is set to give qualified support to the M4 Relief Road amid environmental concerns and worries it could bypass the city, a council document shows.

The authority says it backs the Welsh Government’s preferred three-lane motorway route over the Gwent Levels in a proposed response to the M4 consultation, but said there wasn’t enough detail on air quality and other issues.

The document says the road would have a significant impact on Newport’s ecology and could risk severing the city from the coastline.

It says an alternative route would also provide additional capacity with less impact on the environment.

The Labour cabinet member for infrastructure John Richards has yet to sign off on the response which has been sent out to councillors for comment, although he said he had no objection to it.

In the report Cllr Richards says: “I have concerns relating to the prospect of another major road by-passing the city which may adversely affect our economic and regeneration aspirations.

“I also have concerns that sustainable public transport is not being considered together with the proposed route for a new motorway.”

The report says Newport council supports the Welsh Government’s proposed ‘black’ route – a three lane motorway over the Gwent Levels – to resolve the M4 congestion issues at the earliest opportunity.

But it said a minimum of three junctions in Newport – east, west and central – would be needed to ensure the city is not bypassed “to the detriment of its economic growth and regeneration”.

It also said that the “the effect of the proposals on the surrounding highway network in terms of capacity, safety, community severance, noise and air quality cannot be determined at this time”.

The black route would have a “significant impact of the ecology of Newport”, the report says, affecting protected species and sites of international, European, National and regional importance.

Environmental assessments must be “robust”, the council says, with a “mosaic of habitats” existing within the site of special scientific interest.

The route would also have a “significant impact on the landscape”, saying mitigation measures would need to be agreed early on.

The new M4 could sever the city from the coast line, and communities on the Gwent Levels from key services and facilities, unless the impact on the public rights of way network is not well managed, the response says.

An alternative ‘purple’ route would meet the goal of providing adequate additional road capacity on a convenient route with less of effect on Newport docks, the response says.

The purple route - which would still be a three-way motorway but would take a more northerly route, crossing the Newport north dock - would have less environmental impact than the black route, says the document.

However the effect on existing residential areas, including Duffryn, and other business and industrial zones could be significant, while there would be a more direct effect on the population of Newport bringing the road closer to them.

A “do-minimum scenario” would do nothing to address identified problems, while an alternative ‘red route’ two-lane scheme would do little to resolve the issues, the response argued.

Comments (13)

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11:54am Thu 16 Jan 14

_Bryan_ says...

Providing 3 separate junctions on the new M4 would go a long way toward reducing its effectiveness. The main problem with the existing motorway is that a large number of people use it to travel from one side of Newport to the other.

The new section of the M4 needs to have a single exit for Newport, linking onto the existing motorway which could then act as a Northern Distrubutory Road to complement the SDR for local traffic and thereby allow the M4 to serve correctly as a long distance route.
Providing 3 separate junctions on the new M4 would go a long way toward reducing its effectiveness. The main problem with the existing motorway is that a large number of people use it to travel from one side of Newport to the other. The new section of the M4 needs to have a single exit for Newport, linking onto the existing motorway which could then act as a Northern Distrubutory Road to complement the SDR for local traffic and thereby allow the M4 to serve correctly as a long distance route. _Bryan_
  • Score: 9

12:41pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Vox Dei says...

_Bryan_ wrote:
Providing 3 separate junctions on the new M4 would go a long way toward reducing its effectiveness. The main problem with the existing motorway is that a large number of people use it to travel from one side of Newport to the other.

The new section of the M4 needs to have a single exit for Newport, linking onto the existing motorway which could then act as a Northern Distrubutory Road to complement the SDR for local traffic and thereby allow the M4 to serve correctly as a long distance route.
That would be fine if the existing route were to remain a motorway. However all the WAG plans crazily suggest downgrading it!
[quote][p][bold]_Bryan_[/bold] wrote: Providing 3 separate junctions on the new M4 would go a long way toward reducing its effectiveness. The main problem with the existing motorway is that a large number of people use it to travel from one side of Newport to the other. The new section of the M4 needs to have a single exit for Newport, linking onto the existing motorway which could then act as a Northern Distrubutory Road to complement the SDR for local traffic and thereby allow the M4 to serve correctly as a long distance route.[/p][/quote]That would be fine if the existing route were to remain a motorway. However all the WAG plans crazily suggest downgrading it! Vox Dei
  • Score: 6

1:16pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

_Bryan_ wrote:
Providing 3 separate junctions on the new M4 would go a long way toward reducing its effectiveness. The main problem with the existing motorway is that a large number of people use it to travel from one side of Newport to the other. The new section of the M4 needs to have a single exit for Newport, linking onto the existing motorway which could then act as a Northern Distrubutory Road to complement the SDR for local traffic and thereby allow the M4 to serve correctly as a long distance route.
I think you are assuming 3 junctions on the new motorway would be similar to the current chaos on the M4 but that has 4 junctions close to each other, narrowing to 2 lanes through the tunnels and slip road closures at Caerleon Road.

There should be no problem using a motorway to travel from one side of a town to the other provided the junctions are adequately spaced out, slip roads properly engineered and lanes sized to the volume of traffic. That happens all over the UK. Motorways are intended to take fast flow traffic off A roads to relieve congestion, not just to link one town to the next.
[quote][p][bold]_Bryan_[/bold] wrote: Providing 3 separate junctions on the new M4 would go a long way toward reducing its effectiveness. The main problem with the existing motorway is that a large number of people use it to travel from one side of Newport to the other. The new section of the M4 needs to have a single exit for Newport, linking onto the existing motorway which could then act as a Northern Distrubutory Road to complement the SDR for local traffic and thereby allow the M4 to serve correctly as a long distance route.[/p][/quote]I think you are assuming 3 junctions on the new motorway would be similar to the current chaos on the M4 but that has 4 junctions close to each other, narrowing to 2 lanes through the tunnels and slip road closures at Caerleon Road. There should be no problem using a motorway to travel from one side of a town to the other provided the junctions are adequately spaced out, slip roads properly engineered and lanes sized to the volume of traffic. That happens all over the UK. Motorways are intended to take fast flow traffic off A roads to relieve congestion, not just to link one town to the next. Thomas O'Malley
  • Score: 4

1:53pm Thu 16 Jan 14

The Red Claw says...

Too much talk, not enough action.
In the report Cllr Richards says: “I have concerns relating to the prospect of another major road by-passing the city which may adversely affect our economic and regeneration aspirations".
The present situation on the current M4 is already having the above feared effect.
As for enviromental concerns, nature will adapt as conditions around it evolve. It always has and always will.
Too much talk, not enough action. In the report Cllr Richards says: “I have concerns relating to the prospect of another major road by-passing the city which may adversely affect our economic and regeneration aspirations". The present situation on the current M4 is already having the above feared effect. As for enviromental concerns, nature will adapt as conditions around it evolve. It always has and always will. The Red Claw
  • Score: 4

2:05pm Thu 16 Jan 14

podger76 says...

it has been said in recent comments that a bypass in place would bypass Newport for the economy.Come on people what is there to stop people trading in the city at the moment its like a bomb site shops closing down etc.Just think ahead people when Newport has its City revampt and trading back to normal many will come to Newport and dont forget everything is being done for our new international airport which i hae predicted is going to happen.Now back to the relief road great im sure many of us who have been held up on the motorway pun it will be a relief podge76
it has been said in recent comments that a bypass in place would bypass Newport for the economy.Come on people what is there to stop people trading in the city at the moment its like a bomb site shops closing down etc.Just think ahead people when Newport has its City revampt and trading back to normal many will come to Newport and dont forget everything is being done for our new international airport which i hae predicted is going to happen.Now back to the relief road great im sure many of us who have been held up on the motorway pun it will be a relief podge76 podger76
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Thu 16 Jan 14

jimmytheone2 says...

Thomas O'Malley wrote:
_Bryan_ wrote:
Providing 3 separate junctions on the new M4 would go a long way toward reducing its effectiveness. The main problem with the existing motorway is that a large number of people use it to travel from one side of Newport to the other. The new section of the M4 needs to have a single exit for Newport, linking onto the existing motorway which could then act as a Northern Distrubutory Road to complement the SDR for local traffic and thereby allow the M4 to serve correctly as a long distance route.
I think you are assuming 3 junctions on the new motorway would be similar to the current chaos on the M4 but that has 4 junctions close to each other, narrowing to 2 lanes through the tunnels and slip road closures at Caerleon Road.

There should be no problem using a motorway to travel from one side of a town to the other provided the junctions are adequately spaced out, slip roads properly engineered and lanes sized to the volume of traffic. That happens all over the UK. Motorways are intended to take fast flow traffic off A roads to relieve congestion, not just to link one town to the next.
No, no, no......just look at the chaos around the existing junctions. There are big queues for traffic getting off, there are queues as traffic gets on....
Junctions slow traffic, particularly at busy times. They will also cause huge displacement disruption to the areas where they would be sited - have a look at the total space needed for an on and off junction currently on the M4.
If you want to travel from one side of town to the other, you'll still have the existing M4 (just won't be a motorway any more) with all its junctions. Use that.
[quote][p][bold]Thomas O'Malley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]_Bryan_[/bold] wrote: Providing 3 separate junctions on the new M4 would go a long way toward reducing its effectiveness. The main problem with the existing motorway is that a large number of people use it to travel from one side of Newport to the other. The new section of the M4 needs to have a single exit for Newport, linking onto the existing motorway which could then act as a Northern Distrubutory Road to complement the SDR for local traffic and thereby allow the M4 to serve correctly as a long distance route.[/p][/quote]I think you are assuming 3 junctions on the new motorway would be similar to the current chaos on the M4 but that has 4 junctions close to each other, narrowing to 2 lanes through the tunnels and slip road closures at Caerleon Road. There should be no problem using a motorway to travel from one side of a town to the other provided the junctions are adequately spaced out, slip roads properly engineered and lanes sized to the volume of traffic. That happens all over the UK. Motorways are intended to take fast flow traffic off A roads to relieve congestion, not just to link one town to the next.[/p][/quote]No, no, no......just look at the chaos around the existing junctions. There are big queues for traffic getting off, there are queues as traffic gets on.... Junctions slow traffic, particularly at busy times. They will also cause huge displacement disruption to the areas where they would be sited - have a look at the total space needed for an on and off junction currently on the M4. If you want to travel from one side of town to the other, you'll still have the existing M4 (just won't be a motorway any more) with all its junctions. Use that. jimmytheone2
  • Score: -4

2:41pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Vox Dei says...

Motorway junctions do not slow traffic -- that is absurd! They are designed to be free-flowing. As Mr O'Malley pointed out motorways are designed to ease congestion, so deliberately restricting where people can access them would defeat that object. Three junctions for Newport access should be the absolute minimum. If the existing motorway is downgraded then there is even more need. Frankly I don't think the communities north of Newport will be too happy about being farther away from the motorway than they currently are -- they have enough trouble with people deeming them too remote as it is.
Motorway junctions do not slow traffic -- that is absurd! They are designed to be free-flowing. As Mr O'Malley pointed out motorways are designed to ease congestion, so deliberately restricting where people can access them would defeat that object. Three junctions for Newport access should be the absolute minimum. If the existing motorway is downgraded then there is even more need. Frankly I don't think the communities north of Newport will be too happy about being farther away from the motorway than they currently are -- they have enough trouble with people deeming them too remote as it is. Vox Dei
  • Score: 2

3:58pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Jdavies1960 says...

Just make the tunnels wider the technology is available to create one large tunnel removing the center and lowering the road so you use the maximum diameter created, simples
Just make the tunnels wider the technology is available to create one large tunnel removing the center and lowering the road so you use the maximum diameter created, simples Jdavies1960
  • Score: -7

4:49pm Thu 16 Jan 14

lowandhardandinthecorner says...

Jdavies1960 wrote:
Just make the tunnels wider the technology is available to create one large tunnel removing the center and lowering the road so you use the maximum diameter created, simples
one larger tunnel = one larger problem. Build the new motorway.
[quote][p][bold]Jdavies1960[/bold] wrote: Just make the tunnels wider the technology is available to create one large tunnel removing the center and lowering the road so you use the maximum diameter created, simples[/p][/quote]one larger tunnel = one larger problem. Build the new motorway. lowandhardandinthecorner
  • Score: 2

5:35pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Vox Dei says...

Jdavies1960 wrote:
Just make the tunnels wider the technology is available to create one large tunnel removing the center and lowering the road so you use the maximum diameter created, simples
That doesn't solve the problem of redundancy. Neither will downgrading the existing road and covering it with traffic lights and roundabouts.
[quote][p][bold]Jdavies1960[/bold] wrote: Just make the tunnels wider the technology is available to create one large tunnel removing the center and lowering the road so you use the maximum diameter created, simples[/p][/quote]That doesn't solve the problem of redundancy. Neither will downgrading the existing road and covering it with traffic lights and roundabouts. Vox Dei
  • Score: 2

7:50pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Dave on his Soapbox says...

...down grading the existing M4....how does that work then.....they close one of the lanes?...... or do they re-classify it and rename it the M49...... like the old Severn bridge?
...down grading the existing M4....how does that work then.....they close one of the lanes?...... or do they re-classify it and rename it the M49...... like the old Severn bridge? Dave on his Soapbox
  • Score: -2

2:11am Fri 17 Jan 14

newportscum says...

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  • Score: -5

10:39am Fri 17 Jan 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

Vox Dei wrote:
Jdavies1960 wrote: Just make the tunnels wider the technology is available to create one large tunnel removing the center and lowering the road so you use the maximum diameter created, simples
That doesn't solve the problem of redundancy. Neither will downgrading the existing road and covering it with traffic lights and roundabouts.
A single tunnel obviously not possible as the traffic has to go somewhere during construction. The 'widening' option was a third tunnel so that traffic could use the existing tunnels during construction. Its already been discounted as not viable mostly because it doesn't provide resilience plus many other reasons - widening and re-engineering of approach roads, construction traffic, noise, dust, pollution, compulsory purchase of the hotel and housing etc
[quote][p][bold]Vox Dei[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jdavies1960[/bold] wrote: Just make the tunnels wider the technology is available to create one large tunnel removing the center and lowering the road so you use the maximum diameter created, simples[/p][/quote]That doesn't solve the problem of redundancy. Neither will downgrading the existing road and covering it with traffic lights and roundabouts.[/p][/quote]A single tunnel obviously not possible as the traffic has to go somewhere during construction. The 'widening' option was a third tunnel so that traffic could use the existing tunnels during construction. Its already been discounted as not viable mostly because it doesn't provide resilience plus many other reasons - widening and re-engineering of approach roads, construction traffic, noise, dust, pollution, compulsory purchase of the hotel and housing etc Thomas O'Malley
  • Score: 1

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