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M4 relief road inches forward amid Welsh political fractures

The plan for an M4 relief road round the south of Newport in South Wales has been on the books for decades. But is the controversial project now on the verge of being built? Rhodri Clark gauges the political mood

Rhodri Clark
15 May 2015
The two-lane M4 north of Newport would be downgraded if a relief road round the south of the city is built
The two-lane M4 north of Newport would be downgraded if a relief road round the south of the city is built
The proposed M4 relief road is shown in black. The section of the M4 that would be reclassified is shown dashed orange/blue. The purple line is the A48 Newport Southern Distributor Road and the yellow line is the Steelworks Access road. SSSIs are coloured green.
The proposed M4 relief road is shown in black. The section of the M4 that would be reclassified is shown dashed orange/blue. The purple line is the A48 Newport Southern Distributor Road and the yellow line is the Steelworks Access road. SSSIs are coloured green.

 

The proposed new section of the M4 around Newport is on a par with HS2, when the costs are compared with the population or transport budgets of Wales and Great Britain respectively. There are other similarities too. Supporters of the M4 relief road and HS2 both say their respective projects would improve journey times and reliability and accommodate future growth in travel demand. Yet both schemes are opposed by residents near the line of route and by people who believe they are too remote from...

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