A PETITION has been launched by Plaid Cymru asking the Welsh Government to reconsider its decision to build the M4 relief road in Newport.

Party leader Leanne Wood claims the Labour administration is insulting “the national cohesion of Wales” by using all of the country’s borrowing power on one project, which she says only benefits the south of the country.

Transport minister Edwina Hart announced last month that the new M4 motorway, costing £1 billion, would be built by 2022 from the existing junction 23 at Magor to junction 29 at Castleton.

Friends of the Earth Cymru have also opposed the decision and last week said they will be writing to Welsh ministers asking them to reconsider the project before taking it to judicial review.

Ms Wood said: “For too many communities, it appears this Labour Government’s entire policy focus is on the Gwent-Glamorgan M4 corridor. Their decision to blow Wales’ entire borrowing powers on one M4 project without proper consultation is short-sighted and, in my opinion, an affront to the national cohesion of Wales.

“By acting with such disregard for public and political opinion, Labour’s actions will alienate more and more people and more and more communities who will be wondering when they will see a devolution dividend.

“Plaid Cymru recognises the need to resolve the issues around the M4 in Gwent, but we supported a less costly and more sensible alternative that would see the congestion challenge met but without the financial and environmental costs that accompany Labour’s plans.”

The petition cites three reasons why signatories believe the new section of M4 to be “misguided”.

They are that the motorway would be “environmentally damaging”, the scheme is costly and alternative proposals could be put in place to address traffic problems quickly and at a lower cost.

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “We are committed to this infrastructure project, which is of vital importance to the economic prosperity of Wales.”