Campaigners call for M4 relief road to be shelved

First published in Gwent news by

ENVIRONMENTAL pressure groups are calling on the Assembly to save the Gwent Levels from proposals for an M4 relief road.

In an open letter to transport and economy minister Ieuan Wyn Jones, the Campaign Against the Levels Motorway (CALM) alliance urges the Assembly to scrap plans for the proposed M4 relief road.

The letter coincides with the launch of the group’s “Prospectus for Better Transport in South Wales,” which details “value for money solutions” to transport problems on the M4 around Newport.

Current proposals for the M4 relief road involve building a 15-mile six-lane toll motorway between Magor and Castleton.

CALM objects to the proposals, as the road would cut across the Gwent Levels Site of Special Scientific Interest damaging important habitats for water voles, otters, bats, lapwing and curlew.

Signed by the directors of RSPB Cymru, Gwent Wildlife Trust, Friends of the Earth Cymru and WWF Cymru, the letter said: “The decision on a Gwent Levels motorway is a real test of the government’s commitment to sustainable development and coherent policy making.”

It states that the £1 billion necessary to build the road could be better spent looking into options for making better use of the existing roads and public transport in South East Wales.

The letter concludes by asking Mr Jones to drop the proposed road and support cheaper alternatives.

An Assembly spokesman said: “The deputy first minister has noted their concerns. The business case for the proposed M4 relief road is nearing completion and will be submitted to the minister for economy and transport later this year to inform the National Transport Plan.”

Comments (7)

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11:02pm Thu 2 Jul 09

Esta says...

Spend the £1 billion on a sensible public transport system. We need less traffic on the roads and not more. If we put freight back on to the railways we could reduce heavy vehicle traffic which would help both congestion and climate change.
Spend the £1 billion on a sensible public transport system. We need less traffic on the roads and not more. If we put freight back on to the railways we could reduce heavy vehicle traffic which would help both congestion and climate change. Esta
  • Score: 0

11:34pm Thu 2 Jul 09

Stuck says...

The problem about public transport is that it is public. You get all sorts sat on there. In a car I choose who I sit with and i dont get gobby little kids belting out some stupid dance/rap on their ipod. So I will use a car and sit in a jam, nice and cool with air con on full. BTW I think that private car use contributes a tiny amount of CO2 in comparrison to industry. I am not sure about climate change anyways, it all seems like an excuse to tax more. China builds a new coal fired power station every week and **** cows are a more potent source of greenhouse gases, so lets kill all the cows and send all the tree huggers to China...they will have to walk there tho, in shoes made of bark or moss.
The problem about public transport is that it is public. You get all sorts sat on there. In a car I choose who I sit with and i dont get gobby little kids belting out some stupid dance/rap on their ipod. So I will use a car and sit in a jam, nice and cool with air con on full. BTW I think that private car use contributes a tiny amount of CO2 in comparrison to industry. I am not sure about climate change anyways, it all seems like an excuse to tax more. China builds a new coal fired power station every week and **** cows are a more potent source of greenhouse gases, so lets kill all the cows and send all the tree huggers to China...they will have to walk there tho, in shoes made of bark or moss. Stuck
  • Score: 0

6:49am Fri 3 Jul 09

Bobevans says...

You can not have any kind of public tranport to replace the M4 thats just daft. Most pubic tranport is in any case dreadfull



It is clear that the M4 is essential & is critical to the exonomy of South Wales. The slightest problem on the M4 can gridlock Newport & Cardiff for hours.
You can not have any kind of public tranport to replace the M4 thats just daft. Most pubic tranport is in any case dreadfull It is clear that the M4 is essential & is critical to the exonomy of South Wales. The slightest problem on the M4 can gridlock Newport & Cardiff for hours. Bobevans
  • Score: 0

8:00am Fri 3 Jul 09

bobmech1 says...

Nobody wants to be classed as a anti-environmentalis
t, but being in the real world is more important. jobs, livelyhoods and the economic welfare of Wales is at stake if we do not have good infrastructure in place. Will these objectors compensate the loss of revenue, jobs etc. if these improvements are not made. Compramises on both side must be made. But surely the overiding factor is being able to keep a sustainable economy or no amount of enviromnetal schemes would be affordable. It's the old chicken and the egg syndrome.
Nobody wants to be classed as a anti-environmentalis t, but being in the real world is more important. jobs, livelyhoods and the economic welfare of Wales is at stake if we do not have good infrastructure in place. Will these objectors compensate the loss of revenue, jobs etc. if these improvements are not made. Compramises on both side must be made. But surely the overiding factor is being able to keep a sustainable economy or no amount of enviromnetal schemes would be affordable. It's the old chicken and the egg syndrome. bobmech1
  • Score: 0

8:36am Fri 3 Jul 09

PontyPeter says...

1 BILLION pounds is an obscene amount of money to spend on a road, when, for example, you realise that the total cost of the (highly successful) reopening of the rail link to Ebbw vale cost a mere fraction of that.
Of course, something needs to be done about the current problems with the M4 around Newport, but the solution needs to be more imaginative than just more road building.
In the 80s the M4 was congested with queues down the St Julians Hill. Millions were spent on the Brynglas Tunnels avoidance scheme and the remodelling of the junctions at Jnct 25.
Now the traffic is as bad as it ever was, and we have queues down the St Julians Hill section.
One of the lessons to be learned from all this is that building more roads just tends to create more traffic. A solution to this problem needs to be more far reaching and creative than just throwing vast amounts of money into road building.
1 BILLION pounds is an obscene amount of money to spend on a road, when, for example, you realise that the total cost of the (highly successful) reopening of the rail link to Ebbw vale cost a mere fraction of that. Of course, something needs to be done about the current problems with the M4 around Newport, but the solution needs to be more imaginative than just more road building. In the 80s the M4 was congested with queues down the St Julians Hill. Millions were spent on the Brynglas Tunnels avoidance scheme and the remodelling of the junctions at Jnct 25. Now the traffic is as bad as it ever was, and we have queues down the St Julians Hill section. One of the lessons to be learned from all this is that building more roads just tends to create more traffic. A solution to this problem needs to be more far reaching and creative than just throwing vast amounts of money into road building. PontyPeter
  • Score: 0

7:40pm Fri 3 Jul 09

Mervyn James says...

Less cars not more,it is cars destroying the environment, building more roads has never solved anything, you just get more traffic on them. we should adopt a total ban on city centre cars altogether, I cannot understand why they built another park for them. Park and ride made free would be better a more acceptable price to pay than 80 in every 100 drivers having no real need at all for a car clogging up the highways. They are just lazy, and in many cases cannot justify the use of a car. As for jobs etc we had jobs in the past too ! and the transport was near 95% the omnibus, and they were totally effective in getting you there. This however will never work unless we force cars OFF the roads, so building more roads for them is self-defeating. Watch any street traffic,note how many are JUST 1 driver in each, also note most drive no more than 5 or 6 miles anywhere, result, they don't need them. It's THEIR kids future they are destroying, it is good environmental campaigners are considering children's future eve if parents won't.
Less cars not more,it is cars destroying the environment, building more roads has never solved anything, you just get more traffic on them. we should adopt a total ban on city centre cars altogether, I cannot understand why they built another park for them. Park and ride made free would be better a more acceptable price to pay than 80 in every 100 drivers having no real need at all for a car clogging up the highways. They are just lazy, and in many cases cannot justify the use of a car. As for jobs etc we had jobs in the past too ! and the transport was near 95% the omnibus, and they were totally effective in getting you there. This however will never work unless we force cars OFF the roads, so building more roads for them is self-defeating. Watch any street traffic,note how many are JUST 1 driver in each, also note most drive no more than 5 or 6 miles anywhere, result, they don't need them. It's THEIR kids future they are destroying, it is good environmental campaigners are considering children's future eve if parents won't. Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Fri 3 Jul 09

Bobevans says...

Exactly how do you expect people to get to work. Public transport is poor and almost non existant in many case. Just look at the state of the Newport Transport Services. 5 minute trips down the road and they cannot run them to time

A 10 minute journey by car would take over an hour by publicv transport and in many cases there is no public tranport to speak or. Try getting across Newport by public transport its a farce.
Exactly how do you expect people to get to work. Public transport is poor and almost non existant in many case. Just look at the state of the Newport Transport Services. 5 minute trips down the road and they cannot run them to time A 10 minute journey by car would take over an hour by publicv transport and in many cases there is no public tranport to speak or. Try getting across Newport by public transport its a farce. Bobevans
  • Score: 0

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