Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.The Welsh Government are planning to build an M4 relief road. This relief road would basically be to handle the heavy traffic around Newport.
Now let me say from the outset that I’m no expert on traffic (though if you think the M4 is busy try travelling along the M25 or the M11!) nor do I know about the environmental concerns that the proposed road would take. But two separate issues have made me wonder whether all the potential aspects to this road have been thought through.
Regular readers may remember some time back I chatted about the probability of a rise in anti English sentiment due to a combination of the abolition of the tolls on the Geraint Thomas bridge and the pitifully small number of social housing being built throughout Wales. What that would cause is that English people would buy houses along the M4 corridor up to Newport, which would be cheaper than those in the South West where they would commute to work crossing the toll-free bridge. Thus causing a anti-English resentment towards them which unless dealt with promptly might turn unpleasant.
Well surely this relief road, bringing potentially a better road network to this actual part of South Wales will only increase the likelihood of this happening? Predicting disturbances does not mean supporting them. But really Cardiff and Westminster need to sort out a way to resolve this or else it will happen mark my words.
But that’s not all. I’ve read an article from a councillor in Bridgend worried that new business investment will basically stop west of Cardiff because of the improved links the M4 Relief Road would bring the M4 Corridor East of the capital. Essentially West Wales will become a backwater and East , from Cardiff,(including those commuters to England) will become a “Western Powerhouse”.
And yes I used those words deliberately. Because whther through accident or design Alun Cairns will become a beneficiary of this road because it will help him in the vision of a regional economic base between South East Wales and South West England. Welsh Labour will have helped finance his ambition.
Possibly, just possibly, Welsh Labour have been played by Alun Cairns.
But I say again, this road might be needed, I don’t know. What is needed though is more thought about it’s social consequences. Or else it might be a catalyst for social unrest.
Until the next time.