M4 Newport Next Steps
Following the statement made by the First Minister setting out his decision on the M4 Project, Ken Skates AM – Minister for Economy and Infrastructure has made a statement on the next steps planned:
“The First Minister has indicated that we will act decisively to address the problems of motorway congestion in south east Wales.
“Given the complexity of the issue, the impact of the current road and the impacts of the potential solutions, I intend to take a broad strategic approach to addressing the issue. There is a need to alleviate congestion and the resultant air quality issues now, especially as a result of the abolition of the Severn tolls. It is clear to me that we need to work together to consider how we provide for the movement of goods and people across the region in a way that creates a fairer more prosperous Wales, recognises the unprecedented challenge of climate change, and is affordable given the enormous pressure on our budgets caused by 10 years of austerity and capital budget cuts.
“In the short term, I have asked my officials, working with partners in the Cardiff Capital Region and Newport City Council, to bring forward a suite measures designed to provide modest but immediate benefits.
These measures will include:
- additional traffic officers to reduce incidents and lane closures as employed during major events,
- dedicated on-call recovery vehicles to support traffic officers by quickly removing obstructions when they occur as we would in roadworks
- live journey time information to inform better choices
- exploring the operation of junctions to reduce the load on the Brynglas tunnels
- a driver behaviour campaign to make best use of the available road space.
“As well as these short term measures, we need to develop a long term, integrated and sustainable way forward which addresses these long run challenges of congestion, climate change and affordability. This is in the context of the advent of Metro, our commitments to Active Travel, the deterioration of the structures on the existing M4 through Newport, the ongoing air quality issues, and the imperative to create a more prosperous and equal society. I am focused on achieving our ambition of a high quality, multi-modal, integrated and low carbon transport system for the whole of Wales.”
An expert Commission to make recommendations on next steps for the transport network in south east Wales will be appointed immediately to consider the problems, opportunities, challenges, and objectives for tackling congestion on the M4 in south east Wales, and make recommendations on alternative solutions in the light of the First Minister’s decision that the ‘Black Route’ proposal should not proceed.
The full announcement from Ken Skates AM, can be read here.