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Thursday, July 16, 2009

In which I agree with Ieuan Wyn Jones

There are a number of points on which it is possible to disagree with the Welsh Government's Transport plan but on the fundamental point I find myself in agreement with the Deputy First Minister. That is the need to shift people off roads and onto public transport and the abandonment of plans to build an M4 extension around Newport and a new link road to the Cardiff Wales airport.

It seems to me that the case for an M4 extension has never been made. Despite businessmen arguing that it is vital for the south east Wales economy its £1 billion cost could never be justified. This is not about a small national assembly being unable to afford to build big projects as some have said but the economic and business case not adding up.

To build the road would require it to be tolled and that would discourage traffic from using it. If we tolled both sections of the M4 at this point we would be penalising business people twice for coming into Wales, once at the bridge and subsequently at Newport. Congestion points can be tackled by intelligent use of more limited resources as Ieuan Wyn Jones has suggested and an investment in public transport. That is the way forward.

There was also the issue of the loss of five SSSIs and the environmental damage that the motorway extension would cause. The price tag of such a project is more than just financial. The general rule with all new roads is that they fill up very quickly after they are opened. There is then demand for more roads again. It is a vicious circle that needs to be broken and the best way to do that is by saying no occasionally to the petrol lobby and making other choices.

The issues around the airport link road are similar but frankly a new road is not needed. By all means make five mile lane safer but once you have done so there is a natural route to the airport via the A48. Why waste millions of pounds of public money on tearing up fields to extend this route when a small investment in public transport can produce a better outcome?

On this issue Ieuan Wyn Jones is right and he should be supported.
In which I am in total agreement with Peter Black who agrees with Ieuan Wyn Jones ;)

This isn't about parties, or politics, or Assemblies, or even money. It is about sense.
dont be facetious Al iguana.. if the assembly govt is serious about environmental issues it has got to limit car travel and promote publuic transport...WHAT ABOUT A CYCLE LANE? ...get those vociferous fatty businessmen on there bikes.
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day!
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