The Need for an M4 Relief Road

In my Glamorgan Gazette column, I have outlined concerns that the M4 through Bridgend is at full capacity.

A REPORT on Strategic Transport Schemes in BCBC has revealed something  we all suspected – that Junction 36 of the M4 at Sarn is at full capacity and is in need of “major intervention.”

The worry is that with the Welsh Government’s current lunatic freeze on road improvement schemes, action will not be taken any time soon – if ever.

We all know the debacle of the M4 Relief Road at Newport where the Welsh Government spent more than £140 million of our money buying up land and holding a major public inquiry into a suitable route only for First Minister Mark Drakeford to just cancel it.

The repercussions of that decision reverberate throughout South Wales with the bottleneck around Newport acting as a deterrent to any businesses thinking of locating anywhere to the West.

So, hearing that there is significant queuing on all six of the approach roads at Sarn at peak times is bad news for jobs and business growth in the borough.

This junction not only serves Bridgend town but all three valley areas. The council’s report says quite bluntly that these capacity and congestion issues impact on the ability of the junction to enable traffic to access the M4. It goes on: “This will restrict future growth in the north of the borough and disadvantage those who are most affected by this major constraint to movement.”

The report says that improving public transport may take some traffic away but as the rail network is limited locally, with no scope to expand it, people remain reliant on roads. Welsh Government is currently undertaking a study into all three junctions in the borough.

This is welcome as it will outline the technical solutions available but what’s totally lacking is the political will to act.

Welsh Labour and their Plaid cronies in government must realise that their fanatical approach to attaining net-zero carbon is destroying the Welsh economy. 

The M4 was built more than 40 years ago and no longer meets the demands of the 21st century. Putting in new railway stations on the South Wales mainline will help commuters, but will do little for businesses operating lorries and vans along the motorway.

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