M4 relief road would be 'Newport by-pass' - Gwent wildlife group
9:12am Tuesday 24th September 2013 in Gwent news
THE HEAD of a Gwent wildlife charity said it would be a shame if the M4 relief road became a bypass to Newport.
But one business leader said the new M4 could bring economical advantages of more than £2 billion to South Wales.
Yesterday the Welsh Government began consulting on moving the M4 motorway to the Gwent Levels, downgrading the current M4 road to a non-motorway.
Tom Clarke, chief executive of the Gwent Wildlife Trust and also speaking on behalf of the Campaign Against the Levels Motorway, questioned “whether a relief road would act as a Newport bypass, which would be bit of a shame”.
“We are naturally concerned about the implications to wildlife and indeed the implications to Newport. This needs to be consulted on properly,” he added.
However Matthew Evans, Tory group leader on Newport council, said people are getting “sick and tired” of all this consulting and warned the road could suffer a “death by consultation”.
“This is at least the third time its’ gone to consultation,” Cllr Evans said.
“Why go through all the unnecessary expense and consultation and delay when we have already been consulting, we just need to get on with it."
Richard White, Tory councillor for Marshfield ward where the road’s western end will terminate, was sceptical about the case for the project.
“To be honest I don’t think it’s necessary,” Cllr White said, arguing for the Southern Distributor Road to be linked up from Newport Saracens to Coedkernew.
“Obviously the problem with the motorway crossing the levels like that is that will bring the noise of traffic into the area".
Graham Morgan, director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, said: “We believe that the M4 relief road is an essential piece of infrastructure for south Wales that will reap rewards in terms of economic growth and job creation.
“Currently the M4 around Newport is not fit-for-purpose and suffers from major congestion, causing serious delays for those entering the country.
“The new M4 relief road would help to overcome this, providing clear economic advantages with research indicating that this would be in the region of £2.1bn.
“In addition to the long-term advantages to south Wales businesses looking to expand, there would also be short-term economic advantages during the construction phase and we would hope that much of this work is earmarked for local companies.”
The consultation runs until December 16. A drop-in exhibition is set to take place in Magor's Ebenezer Baptist Church on October 2 and 3.
For more information visit www.m4newport.com.
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