(Title Image: Future Generations Commissioner)
With a decision on whether to give the go-ahead to the proposed £1.4billion Newport M4 bypass imminent, Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, has made a significant intervention in a new report, Transport Fit for Future Generations (pdf).
The report concluded that the traffic model the Welsh Government have used in relation to the project was faulty, the bypass would make environmental problems worse and the bypass also clashes with the key aims of the Future Generations Act 2015.
“The idea for an M4 relief road was proposed almost 30 years ago. The Well-being of Future Generations Act didn’t exist, we didn’t know about Brexit, we didn’t have decarbonisation targets and the South Wales Metro was a distant concept. A Public Inquiry was held recently to consider whether the “Black Route” was the most suitable option. The Public Inquiry’s scope was focussed on road options and didn’t consider wider issues or alternatives to this as the preferred solutions.”
– Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe
The report suggests £460million of the budget earmarked for the bypass should be spent on improvements to public transport as part of the South Wales Metro and a further £118million be spent on active travel improvements.