THE details of an alternative M4 relief road scheme which would keep Magor Services on the main motorway have been revealed.

At last week’s pre-meeting into the M4 relief road public inquiry, which is due to get underway at the end of this month, it was revealed 14 separate versions of the scheme will be examined.

As well as the Welsh Government’s preferred ‘black route’, which would see an entirely new stretch of motorway between junctions 23 and 29 running south of Newport, and the alternative ‘blue route’, which involves converting the Southern Distributor Road into a four-lane dual carriageway, the inspectors will also examine 12 other suggested alternatives.

Among these is a so-called ‘green route’, proposed by Mike and Liz Smith and Graham and Jennifer Wynton, all of Windmill Lane in Rogiet, which addresses concerns by Magor Services.

The busiest motorway service station in Wales, it says the black route would cut it off from the M4.

Plans seen by the Argus show the green route would place a small junction on the M48 and B4245 north-east boundary of Rogiet, with the M4 itself continuing on its current route past the existing junction 23 and Magor Services, before turning south at Wilcrick, passing Bishton to the west and Llandevenney to the east.

It would then turn west after the Llanwern steelworks, from which point it is the same as the black route.

A statement detailing the proposal, presented to the inquiry, said: “The primary reason for producing an alternative junction arrangement to that proposed is motivated by the need to lessen the impact upon the countryside in that area and to remove the visual impact upon the properties at Llanfihangel Rogiet and Undy.

“It seems to us that there is no logic behind the proposal to move junction 23 from its current location to one further east.

“If the junction is moved, then the motorway services currently at Magor will want to move with it and in addition to that, pressure for further development is likely to emerge with further development proposals similar to what has occurred at Junction 23A.

“What is now a rural historical location will quickly become pressurised to develop into an urbanised business/development park.”

The statement also said the plans would result in less land being lost than the black route, while the visual impact would also be “almost insignificant”.

“Our new junction proposal for the B4245 will utilise a massively under-used M48 which probably carries only 10 per cent of the traffic volume that the B4245 currently carries, and most if not all of the traffic emanating from Caldicot and the surrounding areas will be able to access the motorway network at that junction instead of travelling further west to Magor,” it added.

“Traffic flows arising from the east of Magor would be able to access the motorway network quicker and easier using a more simplified interchange. The traffic would access all points both east and west on the motorway network.”

Simon Turl, chief executive of Roadchef, which runs Magor Services said: “We have consistently called for Magor Services to be kept on the new M4 as it is currently excluded from the Welsh Government’s planned route.

“Otherwise drivers will be left with a 49 mile gap between services, and 190 local jobs could be put at risk.

“Roadchef is fully engaged with the public local inquiry and we look forward to the process getting under way.”