Anger at M4 relief road plans

Anger at M4 relief road plans

Anger at M4 relief road plans

First published in News
Last updated

FURTHER anger has been voiced over the news a new £1 billion section of motorway will be built to the south of Newport, with Plaid Cymru condemning the decision as “reckless” and saying the party will withdraw from budget talks.

On Wednesday, the Welsh Government announced the so-called ‘black route’ - a new road including a bridge over the Usk - will be built, with an expected completion date of 2022.

This route through the Gwent Levels was picked above the alternatives of upgrades to the existing motorway or the Southern Distributor Road.

But Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said yesterday that alternative options would have allowed transport to be improved across the whole of Wales.

Wildlife Trust Wales also spoke out to criticise transport minister Edwina Hart for making the decision before receiving an Environment Committee report on the M4 proposals.

“At a time when local authority budgets and public services are being cut, the Welsh Government have not stated how it intends to fund the scheme, or what will not be funded as all borrowing powers will be spent on one infrastructure project,” they said.

Meanwhile, the RSPB Cymru, which operates the visitor centre on the Newport Wetlands reserve, said the announcement “made a mockery” of the government’s sustainable development commitment.

The leader of the Wales Green Party, Pippa Bartolotti, added: “Generations to come will have to suffer the loss of wildlife, the concrete, the unthinkable debt, and the pollution this will encourage. Wales has become a paradise for polluters.”

Some did welcome the plan. Torfaen MP Paul Murphy said: “I’m in favour of a relief road, the congestion in our area of south Gwent is horrendous. It’s not just us, it’s the gateway to Wales. It really has to be sorted out.”

And Ed Townsend, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Newport West, said: “Newport and the whole of South Wales need the relief this road will bring.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “It is disappointing that the Party of Wales do not see the benefit of this major infrastructure project, but that’s a matter for them.”

Comments (20)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:09pm Fri 18 Jul 14

-trigg- says...

Of course Plaid cymru are going to condemn the plans. This involves spending money on the south of the country to bring much needed improvements, rather than their beloved North Wales. If Plaid had their way, the M4 would probably be diverted to run via Llandudno
Of course Plaid cymru are going to condemn the plans. This involves spending money on the south of the country to bring much needed improvements, rather than their beloved North Wales. If Plaid had their way, the M4 would probably be diverted to run via Llandudno -trigg-
  • Score: 31

12:12pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Ollie254 says...

Well done WAG the best decision made for ages. Do not listen to the flat earth society build it and build it quickly.
Well done WAG the best decision made for ages. Do not listen to the flat earth society build it and build it quickly. Ollie254
  • Score: 18

12:19pm Fri 18 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

The more roads around Newport the better.....
The more roads around Newport the better..... KarloMarko
  • Score: 15

12:29pm Fri 18 Jul 14

davidcp says...

Expand the current M4? How disruptive would THAT have been?! At least a new road minimises disruption to the busiest part of the M4 outside London.
Expand the current M4? How disruptive would THAT have been?! At least a new road minimises disruption to the busiest part of the M4 outside London. davidcp
  • Score: 18

12:49pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Port0214 says...

The project is 20 years late anyway, I very much doubt the Cardiff shower will be able to deliver on time and on budget.

The leader of the Wales Green Party, Pippa Bartolotti, added: “Generations to come will have to suffer the loss of wildlife, the concrete, the unthinkable debt, and the pollution this will encourage. Wales has become a paradise for polluters.”

I question the sanity of our elected officials, this is progress, the next step should now be the abolition of the Severn Bridge tolls when they come back into public ownership and not as a cash cow to fund the road this should be funded by central government.

We in Wales have had enough of barriers that discourage economic growth and the endless years of economic failure.
The project is 20 years late anyway, I very much doubt the Cardiff shower will be able to deliver on time and on budget. The leader of the Wales Green Party, Pippa Bartolotti, added: “Generations to come will have to suffer the loss of wildlife, the concrete, the unthinkable debt, and the pollution this will encourage. Wales has become a paradise for polluters.” I question the sanity of our elected officials, this is progress, the next step should now be the abolition of the Severn Bridge tolls when they come back into public ownership and not as a cash cow to fund the road this should be funded by central government. We in Wales have had enough of barriers that discourage economic growth and the endless years of economic failure. Port0214
  • Score: 26

2:08pm Fri 18 Jul 14

#thewelshway says...

As a coach driver who uses the M4 network on a daily basis is glad to see the relief motorway finally being introduced into the heart of our country. I wonder if all those do gooders who have objected over the years will use the new road.
As a coach driver who uses the M4 network on a daily basis is glad to see the relief motorway finally being introduced into the heart of our country. I wonder if all those do gooders who have objected over the years will use the new road. #thewelshway
  • Score: 12

2:46pm Fri 18 Jul 14

southsea says...

could have been built years ago at a greatly reduced cost to many inquiries and consultations which have cost a fortune
could have been built years ago at a greatly reduced cost to many inquiries and consultations which have cost a fortune southsea
  • Score: 11

3:24pm Fri 18 Jul 14

NakedDancer says...

Stop talking. For goodness sake get it built.
Stop talking. For goodness sake get it built. NakedDancer
  • Score: 7

5:16pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Ollie254 says...

#thewelshway wrote:
As a coach driver who uses the M4 network on a daily basis is glad to see the relief motorway finally being introduced into the heart of our country. I wonder if all those do gooders who have objected over the years will use the new road.
You can bet they will.......the same way the Greenpeace shower take aeroplane rides to work rather than living closer to their place of work and cruise the world in oil powered boats. Don't do as we do but do as we say.......green is the new red.
[quote][p][bold]#thewelshway[/bold] wrote: As a coach driver who uses the M4 network on a daily basis is glad to see the relief motorway finally being introduced into the heart of our country. I wonder if all those do gooders who have objected over the years will use the new road.[/p][/quote]You can bet they will.......the same way the Greenpeace shower take aeroplane rides to work rather than living closer to their place of work and cruise the world in oil powered boats. Don't do as we do but do as we say.......green is the new red. Ollie254
  • Score: 5

5:22pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Llanmartinangel says...

Port0214 wrote:
The project is 20 years late anyway, I very much doubt the Cardiff shower will be able to deliver on time and on budget.

The leader of the Wales Green Party, Pippa Bartolotti, added: “Generations to come will have to suffer the loss of wildlife, the concrete, the unthinkable debt, and the pollution this will encourage. Wales has become a paradise for polluters.”

I question the sanity of our elected officials, this is progress, the next step should now be the abolition of the Severn Bridge tolls when they come back into public ownership and not as a cash cow to fund the road this should be funded by central government.

We in Wales have had enough of barriers that discourage economic growth and the endless years of economic failure.
'I question the sanity of our elected officials,'

Is this a new phenomenon for you? Lol. You are right on both counts.
[quote][p][bold]Port0214[/bold] wrote: The project is 20 years late anyway, I very much doubt the Cardiff shower will be able to deliver on time and on budget. The leader of the Wales Green Party, Pippa Bartolotti, added: “Generations to come will have to suffer the loss of wildlife, the concrete, the unthinkable debt, and the pollution this will encourage. Wales has become a paradise for polluters.” I question the sanity of our elected officials, this is progress, the next step should now be the abolition of the Severn Bridge tolls when they come back into public ownership and not as a cash cow to fund the road this should be funded by central government. We in Wales have had enough of barriers that discourage economic growth and the endless years of economic failure.[/p][/quote]'I question the sanity of our elected officials,' Is this a new phenomenon for you? Lol. You are right on both counts. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 9

5:37pm Fri 18 Jul 14

pjwivell says...

This is great news the black route was always going to be the best one as it does not interfere with any other infrastructure, I for one welcome the decision. Now all we need is for the promise to be carried out, and as soon as the bulldozers move the first bit of ground we in Newport will breathe a sigh of relief and gratitude to a Minister who acts for once.
This is great news the black route was always going to be the best one as it does not interfere with any other infrastructure, I for one welcome the decision. Now all we need is for the promise to be carried out, and as soon as the bulldozers move the first bit of ground we in Newport will breathe a sigh of relief and gratitude to a Minister who acts for once. pjwivell
  • Score: 4

5:40pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Magor says...

The road is gridlocked at the moment,how can that be good for the environment,miles of stop start traffic.
The road is gridlocked at the moment,how can that be good for the environment,miles of stop start traffic. Magor
  • Score: 12

6:31pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Woodgnome says...

Joni Mitchell 1970 - "They paved paradise to put up a parking lot" .
Joni Mitchell 1970 - "They paved paradise to put up a parking lot" . Woodgnome
  • Score: 1

6:32pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Paxman's Army says...

But do you know what the funniest aspect to this story is?

It's not going to happen.

It's not going to happen. Know why? Because the costs are already skyrocketing. Business owners and trades people are coming out against it. Transport experts are suggesting cheaper alternatives. Homeowners will have to be moved. Lawsuits fought. And then there's the environmental reports that haven't even been published yet.

2022? Not a chance.
£1 billion? Not a chance.

Two days this story's been out. . the bell has rung for round one. . . and (CUE CARPENTERS MUSIC) we've only just begun.
But do you know what the funniest aspect to this story is? It's not going to happen. It's not going to happen. Know why? Because the costs are already skyrocketing. Business owners and trades people are coming out against it. Transport experts are suggesting cheaper alternatives. Homeowners will have to be moved. Lawsuits fought. And then there's the environmental reports that haven't even been published yet. 2022? Not a chance. £1 billion? Not a chance. Two days this story's been out. . the bell has rung for round one. . . and (CUE CARPENTERS MUSIC) we've only just begun. Paxman's Army
  • Score: 7

7:22pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Magor says...

Paxman's Army wrote:
But do you know what the funniest aspect to this story is?

It's not going to happen.

It's not going to happen. Know why? Because the costs are already skyrocketing. Business owners and trades people are coming out against it. Transport experts are suggesting cheaper alternatives. Homeowners will have to be moved. Lawsuits fought. And then there's the environmental reports that haven't even been published yet.

2022? Not a chance.
£1 billion? Not a chance.

Two days this story's been out. . the bell has rung for round one. . . and (CUE CARPENTERS MUSIC) we've only just begun.
As WAG are involved you will be right.
[quote][p][bold]Paxman's Army[/bold] wrote: But do you know what the funniest aspect to this story is? It's not going to happen. It's not going to happen. Know why? Because the costs are already skyrocketing. Business owners and trades people are coming out against it. Transport experts are suggesting cheaper alternatives. Homeowners will have to be moved. Lawsuits fought. And then there's the environmental reports that haven't even been published yet. 2022? Not a chance. £1 billion? Not a chance. Two days this story's been out. . the bell has rung for round one. . . and (CUE CARPENTERS MUSIC) we've only just begun.[/p][/quote]As WAG are involved you will be right. Magor
  • Score: 5

10:06am Sat 19 Jul 14

Torfaenwr says...

So Welsh Labour sign us up to a £billion of debt when there's a perfectly good option for £400M, as if we have money to burn. A good M4 alternative is an urgent necessity, agreed, but who knows what the £600M we're paying over the odds could have done for Wales? What will the ultimate cost be? How long will we be paying for it? How many other vital opportunities will we now be unable to afford as a result?
So Welsh Labour sign us up to a £billion of debt when there's a perfectly good option for £400M, as if we have money to burn. A good M4 alternative is an urgent necessity, agreed, but who knows what the £600M we're paying over the odds could have done for Wales? What will the ultimate cost be? How long will we be paying for it? How many other vital opportunities will we now be unable to afford as a result? Torfaenwr
  • Score: 0

10:11am Sat 19 Jul 14

mkaibear1 says...

Torfaenwr wrote:
So Welsh Labour sign us up to a £billion of debt when there's a perfectly good option for £400M, as if we have money to burn. A good M4 alternative is an urgent necessity, agreed, but who knows what the £600M we're paying over the odds could have done for Wales? What will the ultimate cost be? How long will we be paying for it? How many other vital opportunities will we now be unable to afford as a result?
Yeah, the problem is it's not a "perfectly good option", it's a fundamentally flawed one in that it presumes there will be no further increase in traffic (since there's no way the road can be expanded further).

Of course part of the plan is that it will increase investment and bring more people in - which will necessarily increase traffic - so whilst the blue route might work briefly in a few years we'll have to do this whole thing again - and then we'll have wasted £400m.

Do it once. Do it right. Do the black route.
[quote][p][bold]Torfaenwr[/bold] wrote: So Welsh Labour sign us up to a £billion of debt when there's a perfectly good option for £400M, as if we have money to burn. A good M4 alternative is an urgent necessity, agreed, but who knows what the £600M we're paying over the odds could have done for Wales? What will the ultimate cost be? How long will we be paying for it? How many other vital opportunities will we now be unable to afford as a result?[/p][/quote]Yeah, the problem is it's not a "perfectly good option", it's a fundamentally flawed one in that it presumes there will be no further increase in traffic (since there's no way the road can be expanded further). Of course part of the plan is that it will increase investment and bring more people in - which will necessarily increase traffic - so whilst the blue route might work briefly in a few years we'll have to do this whole thing again - and then we'll have wasted £400m. Do it once. Do it right. Do the black route. mkaibear1
  • Score: 1

2:00pm Sat 19 Jul 14

malpasman says...

Im concerned because every investment in the road network in the area has been a joke.
Variable speed limit on the M4 is ignored by 95% as everyone is aware that there are only two points where cameras are installed , but don't work.
The SDR appears to have more accidents and distribution than the motorway due to it bad design with undersized roundabouts and excessive chambers.
I use the M4 every day and the only time I can remember a constant traffic flow was when the average speed system was in operation.
Until the point where they blow £1 billion+
on what could be another concrete white elephant, why don't they look at what they do on the continent.
Restrict HGV's overtaking in two lane sections at peek times.
Im concerned because every investment in the road network in the area has been a joke. Variable speed limit on the M4 is ignored by 95% as everyone is aware that there are only two points where cameras are installed , but don't work. The SDR appears to have more accidents and distribution than the motorway due to it bad design with undersized roundabouts and excessive chambers. I use the M4 every day and the only time I can remember a constant traffic flow was when the average speed system was in operation. Until the point where they blow £1 billion+ on what could be another concrete white elephant, why don't they look at what they do on the continent. Restrict HGV's overtaking in two lane sections at peek times. malpasman
  • Score: 5

2:22pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Torfaenwr says...

mkaibear1 wrote:
Torfaenwr wrote:
So Welsh Labour sign us up to a £billion of debt when there's a perfectly good option for £400M, as if we have money to burn. A good M4 alternative is an urgent necessity, agreed, but who knows what the £600M we're paying over the odds could have done for Wales? What will the ultimate cost be? How long will we be paying for it? How many other vital opportunities will we now be unable to afford as a result?
Yeah, the problem is it's not a "perfectly good option", it's a fundamentally flawed one in that it presumes there will be no further increase in traffic (since there's no way the road can be expanded further).

Of course part of the plan is that it will increase investment and bring more people in - which will necessarily increase traffic - so whilst the blue route might work briefly in a few years we'll have to do this whole thing again - and then we'll have wasted £400m.

Do it once. Do it right. Do the black route.
Black route has serious flaws too. The Blue has a slew of major advantages over black, not least completion in less than half the time at less than half the cost, and is perfectly adequate. 'further increases in traffic' are something we don't need. In what universe is two motorways around Newport not adequate provision? The world is changing and we should be looking at more intelligent transport solutions, and an economy less dependant on the M4, not more.
This is the wrong decision on a number of grounds.
[quote][p][bold]mkaibear1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torfaenwr[/bold] wrote: So Welsh Labour sign us up to a £billion of debt when there's a perfectly good option for £400M, as if we have money to burn. A good M4 alternative is an urgent necessity, agreed, but who knows what the £600M we're paying over the odds could have done for Wales? What will the ultimate cost be? How long will we be paying for it? How many other vital opportunities will we now be unable to afford as a result?[/p][/quote]Yeah, the problem is it's not a "perfectly good option", it's a fundamentally flawed one in that it presumes there will be no further increase in traffic (since there's no way the road can be expanded further). Of course part of the plan is that it will increase investment and bring more people in - which will necessarily increase traffic - so whilst the blue route might work briefly in a few years we'll have to do this whole thing again - and then we'll have wasted £400m. Do it once. Do it right. Do the black route.[/p][/quote]Black route has serious flaws too. The Blue has a slew of major advantages over black, not least completion in less than half the time at less than half the cost, and is perfectly adequate. 'further increases in traffic' are something we don't need. In what universe is two motorways around Newport not adequate provision? The world is changing and we should be looking at more intelligent transport solutions, and an economy less dependant on the M4, not more. This is the wrong decision on a number of grounds. Torfaenwr
  • Score: 1

2:28pm Sat 19 Jul 14

mkaibear1 says...

Torfaenwr wrote:
mkaibear1 wrote:
Torfaenwr wrote:
So Welsh Labour sign us up to a £billion of debt when there's a perfectly good option for £400M, as if we have money to burn. A good M4 alternative is an urgent necessity, agreed, but who knows what the £600M we're paying over the odds could have done for Wales? What will the ultimate cost be? How long will we be paying for it? How many other vital opportunities will we now be unable to afford as a result?
Yeah, the problem is it's not a "perfectly good option", it's a fundamentally flawed one in that it presumes there will be no further increase in traffic (since there's no way the road can be expanded further).

Of course part of the plan is that it will increase investment and bring more people in - which will necessarily increase traffic - so whilst the blue route might work briefly in a few years we'll have to do this whole thing again - and then we'll have wasted £400m.

Do it once. Do it right. Do the black route.
Black route has serious flaws too. The Blue has a slew of major advantages over black, not least completion in less than half the time at less than half the cost, and is perfectly adequate. 'further increases in traffic' are something we don't need. In what universe is two motorways around Newport not adequate provision? The world is changing and we should be looking at more intelligent transport solutions, and an economy less dependant on the M4, not more.
This is the wrong decision on a number of grounds.
It is not perfectly adequate. It will seriously negatively impact shops, schools and houses because it will require a complete revamp of the roadway. It's five years of total disruption for the bottom end of Newport and at the end it will produce a two-lane motorway which is not fit for purpose (too many tight curves, right past houses and shops, no possibility for expansion).

Five years of total disruption versus ten years to produce a proper motorway with room for expansion, which doesn't impact anywhere near as many houses or businesses (with the exception of the port and all that requires is a bigger bridge like the Barton bridge in Manchester).

Increases in traffic are inevitable. Failing to prepare for that is just preparing to fail.
[quote][p][bold]Torfaenwr[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mkaibear1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torfaenwr[/bold] wrote: So Welsh Labour sign us up to a £billion of debt when there's a perfectly good option for £400M, as if we have money to burn. A good M4 alternative is an urgent necessity, agreed, but who knows what the £600M we're paying over the odds could have done for Wales? What will the ultimate cost be? How long will we be paying for it? How many other vital opportunities will we now be unable to afford as a result?[/p][/quote]Yeah, the problem is it's not a "perfectly good option", it's a fundamentally flawed one in that it presumes there will be no further increase in traffic (since there's no way the road can be expanded further). Of course part of the plan is that it will increase investment and bring more people in - which will necessarily increase traffic - so whilst the blue route might work briefly in a few years we'll have to do this whole thing again - and then we'll have wasted £400m. Do it once. Do it right. Do the black route.[/p][/quote]Black route has serious flaws too. The Blue has a slew of major advantages over black, not least completion in less than half the time at less than half the cost, and is perfectly adequate. 'further increases in traffic' are something we don't need. In what universe is two motorways around Newport not adequate provision? The world is changing and we should be looking at more intelligent transport solutions, and an economy less dependant on the M4, not more. This is the wrong decision on a number of grounds.[/p][/quote]It is not perfectly adequate. It will seriously negatively impact shops, schools and houses because it will require a complete revamp of the roadway. It's five years of total disruption for the bottom end of Newport and at the end it will produce a two-lane motorway which is not fit for purpose (too many tight curves, right past houses and shops, no possibility for expansion). Five years of total disruption versus ten years to produce a proper motorway with room for expansion, which doesn't impact anywhere near as many houses or businesses (with the exception of the port and all that requires is a bigger bridge like the Barton bridge in Manchester). Increases in traffic are inevitable. Failing to prepare for that is just preparing to fail. mkaibear1
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree