23 September 2008
The protest organised by CALM (Campaign Against the Levels Motorway) aims to lobby AMs and raise awareness of the huge environmental damage the new motorway will cause.
The new M4 would cut across important wildlife conservation areas including the Gwent Levels (Sites of Special Scientific Interest). The Gwent Levels are a nationally important site which is Wales' largest coastal floodplain grassland site and amongst the best four sites of its type in the UK. The building of the new motorway will facilitate the projected growth of 20% in traffic levels over the next 7 years on major trunk roads and motorways in Wales - the highest of any part of the UK - which is the exact opposite of what is needed if we are to combat the threat of climate change. More than 25% of the CO2 emissions come from transport and 13% of this is from cars.
Jake Griffiths, Wales Green Party Lead European Candidate, said "It was hoped that Plaid entering Government a year ago today would have brought fresh thinking to transport planning in Wales and challenge Welsh Labour's road building programme. Ieuan Wyn Jones' support for the M4 Relief Road however has shown that Plaid is also committed to encouraging traffic growth with resulting increasing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and damage to natural habitats."
"Before embarking on this huge carbuncle on the Welsh countryside, the Assembly, should examine the impact of the recent rise prices at the pumps and credit crunch and how this effects future growth in traffic which may be reduced considerably."
Jake Griffiths continued "The estimated £1 billion expenditure on the new M4 would be better spent on improving public transport and current traffic flows through Newport. Virtually every weekend train services between South Wales and London are diverted via Gloucester because of the poor state of the Severn rail tunnel which is in urgent need of repair. Capacity could be increased along the South Wales rail mainline. Improved telematics along the M4 through Newport could also help to improve the traffic flow."
For further information contact Wales Green Party Press Officer Jake Griffiths on 07752754537 and firstname.lastname@example.org.