New M4 is right

First published in Letters

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

Comments (8)

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2:56pm Wed 23 Jul 14

landyman3030 says...

Good points made in a well presented letter.
Good points made in a well presented letter. landyman3030
  • Score: 9

3:31pm Wed 23 Jul 14

peterdimery says...

I respond to Cll Edwards support of the route for the M4 duplication.
Ask any driver what causes the delays on the M4 at Newport. The answer invariably is the Brynglas Tunnels.
Consider if the tunnels had not been necessary and the M4 was open 3 lanes in each direction. Then the problem on the M4 at Newport would be no worse than any section of motorway from the Severn Bridge to Swansea.
So why are we building a duplicate motorway at a cost of £10 billion.
The problem is only the Brynglas tunnels. The answer is duplicate the tunnels and carry out the realignment of the adjacent carriageways. There would be no need to wait 10 years and the expenditure considerably less.
I respond to Cll Edwards support of the route for the M4 duplication. Ask any driver what causes the delays on the M4 at Newport. The answer invariably is the Brynglas Tunnels. Consider if the tunnels had not been necessary and the M4 was open 3 lanes in each direction. Then the problem on the M4 at Newport would be no worse than any section of motorway from the Severn Bridge to Swansea. So why are we building a duplicate motorway at a cost of £10 billion. The problem is only the Brynglas tunnels. The answer is duplicate the tunnels and carry out the realignment of the adjacent carriageways. There would be no need to wait 10 years and the expenditure considerably less. peterdimery
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Wed 23 Jul 14

landyman3030 says...

The whole point of this scheme is to remove the 2 lane bottlenecks. The Coldra overpass is 2 lane but could surely be widened to 3. Brynglas tunnels is another. Remind me again with the technology to bore the Channel Tunnel now over a decade old, how difficult would it be to widen the tunnels by another 12 metres? I know this is an over simplification but this is the nuts and bolts surely? Would this works cost £1,000,000,000,000?
The whole point of this scheme is to remove the 2 lane bottlenecks. The Coldra overpass is 2 lane but could surely be widened to 3. Brynglas tunnels is another. Remind me again with the technology to bore the Channel Tunnel now over a decade old, how difficult would it be to widen the tunnels by another 12 metres? I know this is an over simplification but this is the nuts and bolts surely? Would this works cost £1,000,000,000,000? landyman3030
  • Score: 0

11:08pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Paxman's Army says...

So sayeth yet another politician who likes to spend our hard earned cash. Tell ya what Councillor. I see your billion and raise ya. I call on all readers with any sense of outrage to make a contribution. . .no matter how small. . .to any organisation leading the fight against this ridiculous waste of money. . .to help finance the legal protection of the environment and businesses this scheme will disrupt. 2022? No way!
So sayeth yet another politician who likes to spend our hard earned cash. Tell ya what Councillor. I see your billion and raise ya. I call on all readers with any sense of outrage to make a contribution. . .no matter how small. . .to any organisation leading the fight against this ridiculous waste of money. . .to help finance the legal protection of the environment and businesses this scheme will disrupt. 2022? No way! Paxman's Army
  • Score: -1

8:51am Thu 24 Jul 14

Japan1 says...

landyman3030 wrote:
The whole point of this scheme is to remove the 2 lane bottlenecks. The Coldra overpass is 2 lane but could surely be widened to 3. Brynglas tunnels is another. Remind me again with the technology to bore the Channel Tunnel now over a decade old, how difficult would it be to widen the tunnels by another 12 metres? I know this is an over simplification but this is the nuts and bolts surely? Would this works cost £1,000,000,000,000?
And where exactly is this 12m going to come from. Do you widen the current tunnels ? How much disruption will that cause and for how long ?
Do you bore a new tunnel ? How does that link to the existing road ? How many houses get demolished for this ?

It may be a cheaper option in straight monetary terms but what value on the disruption to the current infrastructure if the M4 is at reduced capacity for goodness knows how long while this goes on.
[quote][p][bold]landyman3030[/bold] wrote: The whole point of this scheme is to remove the 2 lane bottlenecks. The Coldra overpass is 2 lane but could surely be widened to 3. Brynglas tunnels is another. Remind me again with the technology to bore the Channel Tunnel now over a decade old, how difficult would it be to widen the tunnels by another 12 metres? I know this is an over simplification but this is the nuts and bolts surely? Would this works cost £1,000,000,000,000?[/p][/quote]And where exactly is this 12m going to come from. Do you widen the current tunnels ? How much disruption will that cause and for how long ? Do you bore a new tunnel ? How does that link to the existing road ? How many houses get demolished for this ? It may be a cheaper option in straight monetary terms but what value on the disruption to the current infrastructure if the M4 is at reduced capacity for goodness knows how long while this goes on. Japan1
  • Score: 2

8:51am Thu 24 Jul 14

Japan1 says...

Paxman's Army wrote:
So sayeth yet another politician who likes to spend our hard earned cash. Tell ya what Councillor. I see your billion and raise ya. I call on all readers with any sense of outrage to make a contribution. . .no matter how small. . .to any organisation leading the fight against this ridiculous waste of money. . .to help finance the legal protection of the environment and businesses this scheme will disrupt. 2022? No way!
4 legs good 2 legs bad
[quote][p][bold]Paxman's Army[/bold] wrote: So sayeth yet another politician who likes to spend our hard earned cash. Tell ya what Councillor. I see your billion and raise ya. I call on all readers with any sense of outrage to make a contribution. . .no matter how small. . .to any organisation leading the fight against this ridiculous waste of money. . .to help finance the legal protection of the environment and businesses this scheme will disrupt. 2022? No way![/p][/quote]4 legs good 2 legs bad Japan1
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Thu 24 Jul 14

welshmen says...

WAG get on with the NEW M4, or put a Toll on the Brynglas Tunnels...

We have thousands of Welsh Construction workers out of work, build this for our Welsh future, stop relying on England to back us up financially, also get on with the Seven Barrage we need it now not thirty years time, this will also bring much needed business into Wales and England....
WAG get on with the NEW M4, or put a Toll on the Brynglas Tunnels... We have thousands of Welsh Construction workers out of work, build this for our Welsh future, stop relying on England to back us up financially, also get on with the Seven Barrage we need it now not thirty years time, this will also bring much needed business into Wales and England.... welshmen
  • Score: 3

12:40pm Thu 24 Jul 14

-trigg- says...

I'm not convinced that the tunnels themselves are the cause of the problems on the current M4. Rather, it is the simple fact that there are so many junctions in close proximity in that stretch, meaning that the same stretch of road needs to support both local and through traffic. With the motorway regularly changing from 3 lanes to a 2 plus slip-road configuration people need to change lanes too often, reducing speeds and increasing congestion.
I'm not convinced that the tunnels themselves are the cause of the problems on the current M4. Rather, it is the simple fact that there are so many junctions in close proximity in that stretch, meaning that the same stretch of road needs to support both local and through traffic. With the motorway regularly changing from 3 lanes to a 2 plus slip-road configuration people need to change lanes too often, reducing speeds and increasing congestion. -trigg-
  • Score: -2

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