AVOID the M4 in the late afternoon and evening of the first day of the Newport Nato summit, a stark warning to Newport residents says.

Public authorities say there will be significant congestion during the September 4 to 5 summit, and Newport council is advising of a peak late on September 4.

One major city firm, with 450 employees in the city centre, says it is encouraging staff to use public transport, car share or allow extra time.

Summit organisers will be faced with moving large numbers of delegates to their hotels on the evening of September 4, while others will be heading to events outside the Celtic Manor Resort.

A note on Newport council’s website reads: “It is currently anticipated that peak disruption is likely to occur on the M4 between the Severn Bridge and Cardiff (in both directions) on the late afternoon and evening of Thursday September 4.”

It goes on: “Motorists should aim to avoid this route completely if at all possible, especially for local journeys around Newport during this time, as it is expected there may still be potentially significant and unavoidable congestion.

“Please consider walking, cycling, car sharing or using public transport for all journeys over these two days and remember to allow extra time for travel.”

A spokeswoman from insurance firm Admiral said it is going to encourage its 450 staff in Newport city centre to “travel by public transport or car share with colleagues, and to allow extra time for their journey”.

Insurance comparison site GoCompare, which is also based in Newport, said possible options include working from home and flexible start and finish times.

Gwent Police is aiming to get in touch with residents and businesses affected by the summit – the Argus itself has received a letter warning of “significant and unavoidable congestion” at certain times on September 4 and 5.

It says any impact on traffic and pedestrians will be focused around the Celtic Manor, Cardiff City Centre and the roads in between, particularly the M4.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “While the summit itself is taking place at Celtic Manor we’re very keen to give leaders a taste of Wales – showcasing what’s on offer.

“We are working closely with the local authorities and police to achieve this while minimising disruption.”

Anyone with concerns can contact the Gwent Police Summit Planning team by emailing natosummit@gwent.pnn.police.uk or calling 01633 642449.

Archbishop of Wales backs anti-Nato protestors

THE Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan, has come out in support of anti-Nato protestors.

A Church in Wales spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that the archbishop had signed the No Nato Newport “statement of opposition.”

However she said the archbishop wouldn’t be taking part in protests themselves, due to take place in the days leading to the September event.

Prominent anti-Nato activist, Welsh Green party leader Pippa Bartolotti, says the archbishop signed up “very early” to the statement which reads “No to NATO, No to War, No to Austerity.”

“We are a broad church, literally,” she said, saying she didn’t know the Archbishop’s motivation for joining in.

“It’s all about helping magnify the voices of the little people that are being bombed and droned,” she added.

As well as the archbishop, signatories include prominent Plaid AMs Simon Thomas, Rhodri Glyn Thomas and Bethan Jenkins, and MEP Jill Evans.