CAMPAIGNERS including Cian Ciaran of the Super Furry Animals, Newport-born actor Darragh Mortell and a former adviser to Jeremy Corbyn and ex-Argus reporter have joined together in a final push to oppose the M4 relief road.

The public inquiry into the scheme, currently predicted to cost £1.4 billion, is expected to report its findings within the next few months, with the Welsh Government to make a decision later in the year.

But environmental campaigners have long campaigned against the proposed ‘black route’, a new 14-mile stretch of motorway south of Newport, saying it will cause irrevocable damage to the Gwent Levels.

The new campaign has been backed by figures including Cian Ciaran and Newport-born Darragh Mortell, best known for appearing in sitcom Dani’s House and The Story of Tracy Beaker, as well as Steve Howell, who worked at the Argus in the 1990s and was Jeremy Corbyn’s deputy director of strategy and communications during the 2017 General Election.

Mr Ciaran said: “Welsh Labour have a small chance here to redeem themselves after some of the recent decisions made at the Senedd - the withdrawal bill, rail franchise, the marine licence granted for Hinkley mud dumping, cuts to the school uniform grant, the independent living grant, the education improvement grant and Communities First.

“We don’t want this impending decision regarding the M4 to add to an already long list of disappointments.

“There are sustainable alternatives and better environmental initiatives that could benefit the whole of Wales, so let’s hope Welsh Government make a choice we can be proud of.”

Future Generations Commissioner for Wales Sophie Howe has also backed the campaign.

She said: “As I have already told the Welsh Government I do not believe their plans for the M4 black route is in the best interest of future generations.

“I implore the Welsh Government to find an alternative, balanced and sustainable solution with future generations in mind.”

Chairman of Campaign Against the Levels Motorway, or CALM, Rob Hepworth, said: “When it comes to economics, statistics show that any potential financial benefit would be felt only in a very small area of south east Wales and the west of England. When it comes to solving the traffic problem, research worldwide shows building more roads simply leads to more traffic.

“Future generations won’t thank us if we build the black route. Welsh Government should act to create a progressive solution to the traffic problem that is cheaper, more sustainable and one that Wales can be proud of.”

And director of Wales' Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Katie-Jo Luxton said: “Wales’ breath-taking wild places attract people from all over the world, but this beautiful country is not just our home, it is also home to some of the rarest wildlife in the UK."

She added: “The Gwent Levels is one of our wildlife sanctuaries, home to the rare shrill-carder bumble bee and the beautiful common crane.

“This stunning bird has returned to breed on the Gwent Levels after a huge conservation effort which has brought them back from the brink after an absence of 400 years from Wales.

“Not only would the M4 diversion devastate this rich and unique Welsh landscape, it would use a significant amount of the money, which we think would be better invested for the benefit of our children and grandchildren, in truly sustainable transport improvements, and protecting our wildlife and climate.”