15 May 2012
Pippa Bartolotti, Leader of the Green Party in Wales hit out today at the spendthrift ideas behind the M4 corridor enhancement scheme.
She said: ‘As usual the Welsh Government is looking at ways to spend huge amounts of money on a badly thought out scheme. Low cost solutions should be given a proper chance to solve the congestion problems between Magor and High Cross, which is made up of 40% local traffic according to the Government’s own figures. This stretch of motorway is only congested at peak times. It makes no sense to spend tens of millions of taxpayers hard earned money on a piece of road which only needs to see different travelling options for 2 or 3 hours a day.
The Wales Government should be looking at Greener options such as compulsory school buses, properly integrated public transport which everyone wants to use, and support to businesses to enable a major increase in flexible working hours.
Why spend more than £500 million on a massive tunnel building scheme for a form of transport which will be out of fashion in 25 years. Malpas Road and Caerleon Road have been consistently shown as areas experiencing danger levels of pollutants caused by vehicle traffic. It would be better to spend the money on a network of charging points for electric cars and clear our air of harmful pollution. It would be better still to overhaul our public transport infrastructure and develop a truly sustainable transport system which goes to where people need to be, costs little, and runs often.
As always, the Green solutions are cheaper, more sustainable, and create more jobs. Yet the Wales Government has not the imagination to do more than offer us expensive schemes to concrete over swathes of the precious Gwent Levels, bore holes through the Brynglas hillside, or prop up the failure of the ill thought out Southern Distributer Road.’