The South Wales Chamber of Commerce is putting out a final call for signatures on their petition calling on the Welsh Government to press ahead with the construction of the M4 Relief Road around Newport.
The petition is published on the Assembly’s website and is a chance for people across South Wales to stand up and show their support for this vital piece of infrastructure being built. The petition is open for everyone to sign and will be considered by Assembly members if enough people sign it. Those wishing to sign the petition have until midday on Friday 28th September to do so.
Harri Lloyd-Davies, President of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce said:
“The need for a new motorway around Newport is overwhelming, with congestion around the Brynglas Tunnels negatively impacting businesses and people from across South Wales.
“The Welsh Government, to their credit, have brought forward plans for a new motorway to the south of Newport, but Ministers have announced that they will give Assembly Members a vote on whether it should be built. There is a real risk that after years of campaigning we could end up with nothing – just more congestion and traffic jams. Therefore, we’re urging everyone, whether they are part of the Chamber of Commerce or not, to support this petition.
“The first proposal for a relief road was published in 1991. We believe that almost 30 years of inaction has hindered jobs growth and the economic well-being of South Wales today. The employment rate in Wales over the last 30 years has been significantly lower than the UK average, while Welsh GVA, one of the main economic measures, has consistently been less than 75% of UK GVA. More importantly, around 30% of Welsh children are living in poverty, a figure that doesn’t seem to be moving.
“The new motorway would bring positive change and is expected to reduce transport costs and travel time, while giving a boost to economic growth through opening up employment sites and making it easier for visitors to travel to Wales.
“I understand that there are many individuals with strongly held objections to the project, but if we are to improve the economic well-being of future generations Welsh politicians need to break from the status-quo and support the building of major infrastructure in Wales.”
Research by the Chamber of Commerce has shown that a wide range of businesses are affected by the congestion on the existing M4.
The haulage industry for example must expect a “worst case scenario” everyday as delays occur so frequently. This limits the number of drops they can expect to do and regularly incur financial penalties for late deliveries.
In addition, venues such as hotels, stadiums and conference facilities across South Wales are also affected by the unpredictability of the traffic. Event organisers for UK-wide events are choosing not to organise their events in South Wales, particularly for one-day events where the need for attendees to arrive and return home in good time is paramount to the event’s success.
The main concern from the tourism sector is that regular delays around Newport do not give a good first impression to tourists coming into Wales from England.
Those wishing to support the construction of the M4 Relief Road can sign the petition by midday on Friday 28th September: https://www.assembly.wales/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=1320
For more information about the petition visit: https://southwaleschamber.co.uk/south-wales-chamber-commerce-launch-m4-relief-road-petition/