Politicians given more time to respond to M4 legal letter

BOTTLENECK: An example of congestion on the M4 eastbound through Newport between Junction 24 at the Coldra and Junction 23A for Magor

BOTTLENECK: An example of congestion on the M4 eastbound through Newport between Junction 24 at the Coldra and Junction 23A for Magor

First published in News by

POLITICIANS have been given more time to respond to a letter from an environmental campaign group opposing the planned Newport M4 relief road route.

Friends of the Earth Cymru wrote to Welsh Government two weeks ago to oppose the £1billion "black route" through Newport Docks on environmental grounds, citing a lack of consideration of other routes, and warning that they were prepared to take the matter to a judicial review.

Newport is set to get the new M4 road to relieve congestion by 2022 after Cardiff Bay politicians debated and agreed on the plan earlier this year.

Welsh Government had a fortnight to respond to the letter, which sets out why Friends of the Earth Cymru believe the government had not acted lawfully, namely that they have not consulted on a "substantive range" of options.

The letter is a "pre-action protocol" to a judicial review from their lawyers Deighton Pierce Glynn.

It claims that Welsh Government, in looking at a new motorway south of Newport and two variations "unlawfully limited the range of reasonable alternatives" including a "blue route" along the existing A48 and enhanced public transport.

The deadline has now been extended by another week at Welsh Government's request, after which Friends of the Earth Cymru will have four weeks to consider whether they will go ahead with legal action.

In return Welsh Government has agreed that they will not pursue a legal argument suggesting that the group caused "undue delay" in deciding whether to bring the matter to a judicial review, something which is often cited in such cases, said director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, Gareth Clubb.

A spokesman for Welsh Government said he had "nothing to add".

Speaking to the Argus earlier this month, Mr Clubb told the Argus that traffic projections on which the relief road scheme is based are "wildly inaccurate".

Transport minister Edwina Hart previously said the black route was chosen following consultation and would involve reclassifying the existing M4 between Magor and Castleton; connections with the M4, M48 and B4245; and cycle- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.

The owner of Newport docks, Associated British Ports has already claimed that trade could be "severely affected" by the route.

Discussion of a relief road to cure the traffic bottleneck at Newport has been going on since 1991, when Welsh secretary David Hunt announced a new motorway would be built.

In June this year shadow economy minister Rhun ap Iorwerth AM called on Welsh Government to rule out the black route on environmental and financial grounds and instead upgrade the existing A48.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:20am Tue 19 Aug 14

Paxman's Army says...

'Welsh Government has agreed that they will not pursue a legal argument suggesting that the group caused "undue delay." '

So WG doesn't ramrods this thing through, doesn't make reports public and expects silence when there's questions raised? What kind of £1 billion project is this??? And they have the audacity to blame someone else when they have the nerve to demand answers?
'Welsh Government has agreed that they will not pursue a legal argument suggesting that the group caused "undue delay." ' So WG doesn't ramrods this thing through, doesn't make reports public and expects silence when there's questions raised? What kind of £1 billion project is this??? And they have the audacity to blame someone else when they have the nerve to demand answers? Paxman's Army
  • Score: -3

8:24am Tue 19 Aug 14

Woodgnome says...

More time - with all the resources they have?? They have had decades building up to this. Perhaps they are thinking of some convincing arguments to dig up the levels.
More time - with all the resources they have?? They have had decades building up to this. Perhaps they are thinking of some convincing arguments to dig up the levels. Woodgnome
  • Score: 10

8:56am Tue 19 Aug 14

Ollie254 says...

Just get on and build it.
Just get on and build it. Ollie254
  • Score: -4

9:02am Tue 19 Aug 14

Walter Devereux says...

Ollie254 wrote:
Just get on and build it.
It will probably never happen now; certainly not by 2022. Given the shoddy design of the junctions at both ends and downgrading the existing road that is probably not all bad...
[quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: Just get on and build it.[/p][/quote]It will probably never happen now; certainly not by 2022. Given the shoddy design of the junctions at both ends and downgrading the existing road that is probably not all bad... Walter Devereux
  • Score: -1

9:20am Tue 19 Aug 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

3pm yesterday the camera controlled speed limit through Newport was 40mph as usual and miles of traffic virtually stopped and pumping out pollution in residential areas. No incident, dry sunny day, just the usual excessive volume of traffic. 20 years of talking and wasting millions since relief road cancelled in 1991 on 'upgrading' the current m4 with all the disruption deaths and injuries. This chaos and carnage is a disgrace. Stop talking - get the relief road built.
3pm yesterday the camera controlled speed limit through Newport was 40mph as usual and miles of traffic virtually stopped and pumping out pollution in residential areas. No incident, dry sunny day, just the usual excessive volume of traffic. 20 years of talking and wasting millions since relief road cancelled in 1991 on 'upgrading' the current m4 with all the disruption deaths and injuries. This chaos and carnage is a disgrace. Stop talking - get the relief road built. Thomas O'Malley
  • Score: 16

9:25am Tue 19 Aug 14

KarloMarko says...

Edwina Hart was out with her spade and wellies at 4am this morning....she wont take no for an answer.....she's mad as hell and she's gonna dig it.
Edwina Hart was out with her spade and wellies at 4am this morning....she wont take no for an answer.....she's mad as hell and she's gonna dig it. KarloMarko
  • Score: -25

9:34am Tue 19 Aug 14

KarloMarko says...

And...she knows where you ALL live. Dont mess with Weena.
And...she knows where you ALL live. Dont mess with Weena. KarloMarko
  • Score: -18

10:07am Tue 19 Aug 14

Good Job No Kids says...

Walter Devereux wrote:
Ollie254 wrote:
Just get on and build it.
It will probably never happen now; certainly not by 2022. Given the shoddy design of the junctions at both ends and downgrading the existing road that is probably not all bad...
Having been privy to the designs from feasibility to current I'd be interested as to what you deem "shoddy".

The existing M4 does not meet current motorway specification anyway, so the "downgrade" won't take much work.
[quote][p][bold]Walter Devereux[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: Just get on and build it.[/p][/quote]It will probably never happen now; certainly not by 2022. Given the shoddy design of the junctions at both ends and downgrading the existing road that is probably not all bad...[/p][/quote]Having been privy to the designs from feasibility to current I'd be interested as to what you deem "shoddy". The existing M4 does not meet current motorway specification anyway, so the "downgrade" won't take much work. Good Job No Kids
  • Score: 7

11:48am Tue 19 Aug 14

Walter Devereux says...

Good Job No Kids wrote:
Walter Devereux wrote:
Ollie254 wrote:
Just get on and build it.
It will probably never happen now; certainly not by 2022. Given the shoddy design of the junctions at both ends and downgrading the existing road that is probably not all bad...
Having been privy to the designs from feasibility to current I'd be interested as to what you deem "shoddy".

The existing M4 does not meet current motorway specification anyway, so the "downgrade" won't take much work.
You think replacing the current freeflow M48->M4 junction with a pair of roundabouts is NOT shoddy? You think making it take longer to get to destinations north of Newport while making access to Cardiff easier is not shoddy? Why should communities on the existing motorway get a reduced service? Places that advertise themselves as being close to the motorway will now be "Just five minutes from the A4325, then through a roundabout at Rogiet, then another roundabout to the M4!" That is shoddy. If the M48 is remaining as a motorway then that number and classification should be extended across the newly bypassed stretch. We should not be disadvantaged for Cardiff's gain YET AGAIN.
[quote][p][bold]Good Job No Kids[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Walter Devereux[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: Just get on and build it.[/p][/quote]It will probably never happen now; certainly not by 2022. Given the shoddy design of the junctions at both ends and downgrading the existing road that is probably not all bad...[/p][/quote]Having been privy to the designs from feasibility to current I'd be interested as to what you deem "shoddy". The existing M4 does not meet current motorway specification anyway, so the "downgrade" won't take much work.[/p][/quote]You think replacing the current freeflow M48->M4 junction with a pair of roundabouts is NOT shoddy? You think making it take longer to get to destinations north of Newport while making access to Cardiff easier is not shoddy? Why should communities on the existing motorway get a reduced service? Places that advertise themselves as being close to the motorway will now be "Just five minutes from the A4325, then through a roundabout at Rogiet, then another roundabout to the M4!" That is shoddy. If the M48 is remaining as a motorway then that number and classification should be extended across the newly bypassed stretch. We should not be disadvantaged for Cardiff's gain YET AGAIN. Walter Devereux
  • Score: -1

3:37pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

Walter Devereux wrote:
Good Job No Kids wrote:
Walter Devereux wrote:
Ollie254 wrote:
Just get on and build it.
It will probably never happen now; certainly not by 2022. Given the shoddy design of the junctions at both ends and downgrading the existing road that is probably not all bad...
Having been privy to the designs from feasibility to current I'd be interested as to what you deem "shoddy".

The existing M4 does not meet current motorway specification anyway, so the "downgrade" won't take much work.
You think replacing the current freeflow M48->M4 junction with a pair of roundabouts is NOT shoddy? You think making it take longer to get to destinations north of Newport while making access to Cardiff easier is not shoddy? Why should communities on the existing motorway get a reduced service? Places that advertise themselves as being close to the motorway will now be "Just five minutes from the A4325, then through a roundabout at Rogiet, then another roundabout to the M4!" That is shoddy. If the M48 is remaining as a motorway then that number and classification should be extended across the newly bypassed stretch. We should not be disadvantaged for Cardiff's gain YET AGAIN.
the existing M4 doesn't meet motorway standards and is regularly operating as a 40mph camera controlled A road (or a car park often) hence blocking up local roads. I see the existing M4 stretch being 'upgraded' to a dual carriageway rather than 'downgraded' to a dual carriageway. local traffic flow will improve on the current M4 connecting to the new m4 - as well as improved flow on local roads both north and south of the current m4.
[quote][p][bold]Walter Devereux[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Good Job No Kids[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Walter Devereux[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ollie254[/bold] wrote: Just get on and build it.[/p][/quote]It will probably never happen now; certainly not by 2022. Given the shoddy design of the junctions at both ends and downgrading the existing road that is probably not all bad...[/p][/quote]Having been privy to the designs from feasibility to current I'd be interested as to what you deem "shoddy". The existing M4 does not meet current motorway specification anyway, so the "downgrade" won't take much work.[/p][/quote]You think replacing the current freeflow M48->M4 junction with a pair of roundabouts is NOT shoddy? You think making it take longer to get to destinations north of Newport while making access to Cardiff easier is not shoddy? Why should communities on the existing motorway get a reduced service? Places that advertise themselves as being close to the motorway will now be "Just five minutes from the A4325, then through a roundabout at Rogiet, then another roundabout to the M4!" That is shoddy. If the M48 is remaining as a motorway then that number and classification should be extended across the newly bypassed stretch. We should not be disadvantaged for Cardiff's gain YET AGAIN.[/p][/quote]the existing M4 doesn't meet motorway standards and is regularly operating as a 40mph camera controlled A road (or a car park often) hence blocking up local roads. I see the existing M4 stretch being 'upgraded' to a dual carriageway rather than 'downgraded' to a dual carriageway. local traffic flow will improve on the current M4 connecting to the new m4 - as well as improved flow on local roads both north and south of the current m4. Thomas O'Malley
  • Score: 14

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