FOR ONCE the Welsh Government has got it right. Even with drawbacks, the route suggested for a new M4 to the south of Newport is the logical and sensible choice. The so-called Blue route using Newport’s Southern Distributor Road (SDR) and the steelworks road would spell disaster for Newport.

The SDR does what its label suggests. A road to distribute traffic to the Ringland Estate, Alway Estate, Lliswerry, Corporation Road and the city centre, then, across the river, to give access to Pillgwenlly from three points, through to an access to Maesglas retail park and Newport’s landfill site, then on to Tredegar Park.

I would be interested to see what research Prof Stuart Cole can produce to demonstrate that this could be a viable through route, without losing access to these ‘distributions’. In bald terms, if the Llanwern site were to be empty and undeveloped, then the dual carriageway alongside the former steelworks could be considered as a potential relief route.

How does through traffic looking to bypass Newport safely to the south accommodate the traffic generated from Llanwern’s 4,000 homes, a steelworks and a commercial district, before moving on to negotiate the SDRouthern distributor’s access points to the south of Newport?

It is a lovely fairy-tale to think that these two roads provide a ready-made answer to the Brynglas congestion problem. They do not. The only merit that route has is that it is cheaper. Cheap and cheerful but it does not do the job.

Ed Townsend Cllr for St Julian’s Ward Newport