Answer: This was debated about a year ago and at that time we stated that we had been expressing concern about congestion for a period of about twelve years. It is a complex issue with other connotations.
Indeed the case is not clear in some people’s minds that the relief road is needed. When the Council debated this we recommended the ‘black route’.
We have had little feedback but there are those with concerns about the environment. The statistics showing vehicle movements on the existing M4 provide some evidence that suggests that there has been a reduction in use at certain times, although current figures are now at an all-time high. There was a marked reduction in 2008. There could have been a number of contributory factors to this decline.
This proposal needs now to move forward in the context of the metro proposals as some people are saying that alternative means of transport, such as the metro, would alleviate pressure on the motorway.
Some academics have suggested using the SDR as a means of solving the problem and the Green Party are saying this would be the best solution for the environment but I consider this to be unacceptable as it would be to the detriment of a large number of people in Newport.
Little progress seems to be made and some politicians in the Welsh Government seem to be changing their position. The tunnels are a great problem and the accident rate of the motorway is of great concern but there is little clarity as to what is to be done. Business in Wales in anxious to see a free flow of traffic.
I think it would be useful to ask officials at the Welsh Government to come to update us on the current position.