ARGUS COMMENT: We need an M4 solution sooner rather than later

ARGUS COMMENT: We need an M4 solution sooner rather than later

ARGUS COMMENT: We need an M4 solution sooner rather than later

First published in News
Last updated

YESTERDAY morning's traffic chaos in Newport will have been hugely inconvenient for thousands of people.

The M4 was closed westbound around the city for a number of hours after an accident in the Brynglas tunnels.

Thankfully, no-one was injured in the accident between a lorry and a tanker but the knock-on effect for schools, businesses and motorists was substantial.

As usual, an incident on the motorway at rush-hour led to all major routes through the city becoming gridlocked - particularly the Southern Distributor Road.

We need a solution to the M4's problems sooner rather than later.

A lengthy consultation process identified what was formerly known as the M4 relief road as the preferred option. That option is now the subject of a further consultation.

But, as we reported last week, upgrading the SDR is now mystifyingly back on the table.

Whatever happens needs to happen quickly.

A solution to the problem of the M4 around Newport - and particularly the stretch before and after the Brynglas tunnels - has been sought for more than two decades.

The UK Government has given the Welsh Government the financial powers it needs to get on with the project.

Someone now needs to cut through the mind-numbing bureaucracy that seems to bedevil everything that comes out of the Senedd and just get something done.

Comments (6)

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10:43am Wed 22 Jan 14

Abertillery29 says...

As you say the Senedd really needs to show a sense of urgency in regard to this road. They keep blathering on in various statements , committees ,consultations etc over the need to attract jobs to Wales. Imagine if you were travelling to Wales when this crash happened as you sought a suitable base for your business. They really do seem to be blinkered over the problems of getting in and out of Wales by road.
As you say the Senedd really needs to show a sense of urgency in regard to this road. They keep blathering on in various statements , committees ,consultations etc over the need to attract jobs to Wales. Imagine if you were travelling to Wales when this crash happened as you sought a suitable base for your business. They really do seem to be blinkered over the problems of getting in and out of Wales by road. Abertillery29
  • Score: 7

11:53am Wed 22 Jan 14

Nospin_1 says...

The only way the SDR route will work is if it is an overhead motorway along the route fron coldra to tredegar park, no junctions ie services through traffic only .That I suspect would cost more than the route across the flatlands.

A third choice would be a southern and northern bypass (m/way) around Brynglas hill. East side would join/leave in the area of the new Cwmbran exit, West side join leave on the straight before Highcross.

Alternatively a bypass for westbound and a new tunnel for east bound. The westbound (southside would not have a big detour to avoid the hill, the eastbound (northside would have to go a fair way up from the motorway to avoid a big climd/descent.
The only way the SDR route will work is if it is an overhead motorway along the route fron coldra to tredegar park, no junctions ie services through traffic only .That I suspect would cost more than the route across the flatlands. A third choice would be a southern and northern bypass (m/way) around Brynglas hill. East side would join/leave in the area of the new Cwmbran exit, West side join leave on the straight before Highcross. Alternatively a bypass for westbound and a new tunnel for east bound. The westbound (southside would not have a big detour to avoid the hill, the eastbound (northside would have to go a fair way up from the motorway to avoid a big climd/descent. Nospin_1
  • Score: -3

12:50pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Bobevans says...

Nospin_1 wrote:
The only way the SDR route will work is if it is an overhead motorway along the route fron coldra to tredegar park, no junctions ie services through traffic only .That I suspect would cost more than the route across the flatlands.

A third choice would be a southern and northern bypass (m/way) around Brynglas hill. East side would join/leave in the area of the new Cwmbran exit, West side join leave on the straight before Highcross.

Alternatively a bypass for westbound and a new tunnel for east bound. The westbound (southside would not have a big detour to avoid the hill, the eastbound (northside would have to go a fair way up from the motorway to avoid a big climd/descent.
Newport really needs both. A Newport by pass to take local traffic off of the M4 and a new or upgraded section of M4 through Newport

The current section of M4 through Newport does not meet the latest Motorway standards and will continue to cause problems. A Newport By Pass would do nothing to change that
[quote][p][bold]Nospin_1[/bold] wrote: The only way the SDR route will work is if it is an overhead motorway along the route fron coldra to tredegar park, no junctions ie services through traffic only .That I suspect would cost more than the route across the flatlands. A third choice would be a southern and northern bypass (m/way) around Brynglas hill. East side would join/leave in the area of the new Cwmbran exit, West side join leave on the straight before Highcross. Alternatively a bypass for westbound and a new tunnel for east bound. The westbound (southside would not have a big detour to avoid the hill, the eastbound (northside would have to go a fair way up from the motorway to avoid a big climd/descent.[/p][/quote]Newport really needs both. A Newport by pass to take local traffic off of the M4 and a new or upgraded section of M4 through Newport The current section of M4 through Newport does not meet the latest Motorway standards and will continue to cause problems. A Newport By Pass would do nothing to change that Bobevans
  • Score: 2

2:01pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Paul NP19 says...

The comment that "all major routes through the city becoming gridlocked" is not strictly true. Routes such as the Heidenheim Drive dual carriageway remained clear, ironically allowing me to get from St Julians to work in the city centre quicker than normal! Only the SDR was gridlocked, even Chepstow Road was flowing at rush hour, albeit at a slower pace than normal. Forward thinking in closing the M4 as far back as J24 allowed the inner city commuters to move about almost as normal, and this should be considered more often in these circumstances.

I do feel for those whose destination was beyond Newport, as they were diverted onto the SDR which simply can't cope with the volume in it's current state. After all it wasn't built as an M4 replacement!

There's no denying that something needs to be done, but is the situation really any worse than the M6 "car park" at rush hour on most days, or the M25 which is constantly gridlocked (I'm sure there are other examples)? They're not spending multiple millions sorting that out for what is essentially a couple of hours inconvenience per day (or even per week).

Regular diversionary tactics would be a good move in the short term, taking some traffic down the SDR (maybe HGVs?) at J24 at busy times, and possibly off at J26A too, freeing up the M4 to attempt a free flow.
The comment that "all major routes through the city becoming gridlocked" is not strictly true. Routes such as the Heidenheim Drive dual carriageway remained clear, ironically allowing me to get from St Julians to work in the city centre quicker than normal! Only the SDR was gridlocked, even Chepstow Road was flowing at rush hour, albeit at a slower pace than normal. Forward thinking in closing the M4 as far back as J24 allowed the inner city commuters to move about almost as normal, and this should be considered more often in these circumstances. I do feel for those whose destination was beyond Newport, as they were diverted onto the SDR which simply can't cope with the volume in it's current state. After all it wasn't built as an M4 replacement! There's no denying that something needs to be done, but is the situation really any worse than the M6 "car park" at rush hour on most days, or the M25 which is constantly gridlocked (I'm sure there are other examples)? They're not spending multiple millions sorting that out for what is essentially a couple of hours inconvenience per day (or even per week). Regular diversionary tactics would be a good move in the short term, taking some traffic down the SDR (maybe HGVs?) at J24 at busy times, and possibly off at J26A too, freeing up the M4 to attempt a free flow. Paul NP19
  • Score: 0

7:03pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Limestonecowboy says...

This isn't simply about Newport but the economy of South Wales. The SDR was design by someone with lunatic tendancies this road is not fit for purpose lorry or car.
This isn't simply about Newport but the economy of South Wales. The SDR was design by someone with lunatic tendancies this road is not fit for purpose lorry or car. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

10:58am Thu 23 Jan 14

Jonnytrouble says...

KEEP THE PRESSURE UP SWA
Wake up those MP's Am's that are so quiet I wonder sometimes what planet there on or if they are bothered ????????????????????
??????????????
Except William Graham who we hear more from, shame on the rest
( im using the train im all right jack and I got a seat too )
Millions must have been lost to our Economy once again !!!
KEEP THE PRESSURE UP SWA Wake up those MP's Am's that are so quiet I wonder sometimes what planet there on or if they are bothered ???????????????????? ?????????????? Except William Graham who we hear more from, shame on the rest ( im using the train im all right jack and I got a seat too ) Millions must have been lost to our Economy once again !!! Jonnytrouble
  • Score: 0

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