Well it's a rainy Monday Morning and yet again South Wales is shut off by an accident on the Westbound M4.
Recently the M4 consultation closed and the report is to be published at the end of the year. In my opinion the only option which made any sense is a new M4 south of Newport, although in the consultation the closest they came was a new dual carriageway.
The real problem that needs addressing is the quite obvious fact that there is no motorway grade road between the Severn tolls and Castleton and that needs to be rectified! The idea that throwing money at new tunnels at Brynglas or any upgrade of the Newport SDR is a viable alternative is horrendously short-sighted, because (as this morning shows) if a major accident shuts the motorway there is no alternative capable of keeping traffic (plus money and investment) flowing into South Wales.
In my response to the consultation I’ve urged them to give the area what it should have had from day one, a motorway (not a toll road) south of Newport and redesignate the old M4 (or Newport NDR!?!) the M48, then in the event of a major accident there is another capable road to take the strain.
Better to do it sooner rather than later as I’m sure it won’t get any cheaper in the future when they’ll end up having to do it anyway!
Best plan is to run a dual carriageway parallel to the existing M4 for its entire length. Then, the poor motorist wouldn't have to us those beastly A and B class roads in the event of an M4 blockage.
We're due to find out which option they're going to choose Neil by the end of the year and surely they are going to pick the new dual carriageway south of Newport as the preferred option. The challenge then (as well as dealing with the various enviromental issues) will be restricting junctions along the new route else it will turn into a glorified version of the SDR. And then sitting back and waiting nearly 20 years for it to be finished.
The problem is the geography. The current M4 winds so much from Coldra to Brynglas and with housing so close it would be costly to ever consider widening and that's just being a couple of miles in from the coast.
The levels look so easy to engineer in comparison and remember the new road would have fewer junctions, something the old M4 has in abundance along with those disappearing inside lanes!!
Perhaps as a stop-gap measure the A48 SDR should get grade separated junctions (flyovers)? That way the through traffic at keeps moving instead of coming to a halt at every junction.
It's worth remembering that the SDR was built with the assumption that the M4 relief road would be built, which probably explains why it's not grade separated.
If I lived in Newport I'd be getting a bit paranoid. I mean to bypass a city once is fine, but at this rate there'll be multiple ways not to go there!
It'll be interesting to see how the option to incorporate the Llanwern works road plays out, but the SDR is a good road, apart from the roundabouts and approaching junction 28.
So it looks like another round of consultation is now starting on the M4 relief measures - bit of a surprise as they were due to announce the preferred option within a few weeks! I really despair how much money has been wasted on consultations and reports over the years while a solution gets no nearer (and another accident today causing lengthy delays!).
Really? They need to update their website if there is!
Maybe everyone picked the wrong option. I suspect the new consultation will now have the option of making the Heads of the Valleys a new 'M4 Newport Hub Road'
Looks like its a consultation solely on the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the options that Arup(?) have undertaken.
Don't think that Caernarfon has 2 bypass. There's one road connecting Bangor and Caernarfon but there's nothing to the South to avoid Caernarfon. And the new one is a bypass for the village of Bontnewydd outside Caernarfon, where traffic during rush hour is really bad.
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