IT HAS been a long time coming but at last the Assembly Government has given the go ahead for a relief road around Newport.

The £1bn project will see the creation of a new road around the south of the city, starting at Junction 23 and rejoining the existing M4 at junction 29.

This so-called ‘black route’ will involve the construction of a bridge over the Usk.

It is not the cheapest option and as soon as the announcement was made it attracted waves of criticism because of the choice of the particular route and the decision to spend £1bn on on capital project but also because the decision was announced before an Assembly environment committee had issued its report.

For some the cost is just too high, when cheaper options were available.

For others the fear is that the cost of the scheme will mean capital projects elsewhere will be starved of funding.

For the people of Newport though this should mark the beginning of the end of a congestion nightmare.

Anyone who lives and works in this corner of Wales knows how the city grinds to a halt as soon as there is an accident on the existing M4.

It just cannot cope with the volume of traffic using what is a main artery into Wales.

That something has to be done has been obvious for many years and now at last there is light at the end of the tunnel.