LAWYERS have written to transport minister Edwina Hart warning her the Welsh Government is likely to face legal action over the M4 Relief Road.

A so-called pre-action letter has been sent on behalf of Gwent Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Earth Cymru ahead of a possible judicial review against the Gwent Levels motorway.

The letter is a part in the procedure groups take before launching a bid for a judicial review – and asks the Welsh Government to start a new consultation.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the campaigners have accused the Government of trying to circumvent the requirement for public consultation and restrict public discussion about available options.

They claimed it was doing this by asking members of the public about “very limited options” – a motorway through the Gwent Levels, a motorway through a slightly different part of the Gwent Levels, or a dual carriage way through the Gwent Levels.

Lawyers also said the consultation specifically excludes plans for the South Wales Metro.

Recently transport expert Professor Stuart Cole has proposed an alternative and cheaper “blue route” which would involve an upgrade of the A48 and the “Steelworks Road” which runs alongside Llanwern Steelworks. The Institute of Welsh Affairs warned there could be very little money to fund investment in other parts of the country if the Welsh Government opts for the M4 Relief Road.

The current consultation, which proposes the new road as a replacement for the M4 around Newport, is due to end next Monday.To contribute visit