Dear Madam or Sir,
Re: M4 Corridor around Newport
Formal objection – please forward to the Welsh Government.
I strongly oppose the proposal to build a new M4 motorway through the beautiful Gwent Levels.
Building another motorway will inevitably cause the burning of yet more fossil fuels. ‘Build it and they will come’ has never been truer than in the case of road building. Far from solving the problems of congestion, new roads are the harbingers of even more congestion. More congestion means more pollution, and more pollution is the very thing we want to avoid.
Pollution hurts our health, our environment and all living things, sometimes terminally in the case of heart and lung disease.
I would like to see the Welsh Government protect our most important places for wildlife such as the Gwent Levels that are already recognised as being nationally important through their designation of SSSI status.
The Gwent Levels is extremely rich in wildlife with otters, water voles, wading birds such as lapwing, snipe, redshank and curlew, 25 rare plants including the world’s smallest flowering plant Wolffia arrihiza and 144 rare species of insects.
Damage to the Gwent Levels will include;
- A total of 125 hectares of SSSI habitats including grazing marsh and reedbed lost or permanently damaged
- Permanent damage to 9 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation
- Permanent loss of a section of Gwent Wildlife Trusts Magor Marsh Nature Reserve
- Loss of 2568m of SSSI reen and 9136m of SSSI field ditch which would be infilled or culverted, that are full of nationally rare plants and animals that have taken centuries to reach their current equilibrium. Replacing these with freshly cut channels cannot be described as a positive impact on biodiversity
- Habitat and species loss outside of “protected areas” has not been quantified but is also substantial
- Damage to protected conservation priority species populations and their habitats including European protected species
- Cumulative loss of land which will leave the remaining spaces unviable for much of the flora and fauna.
Llanwern steelworks, Tesco Warehouse, Gwent Europark, Uskmouth Power Station and the Aluminium and chemical works have already led to the loss of 910ha of wetland habitat (CCW 1991). Further loss has only continued over the last 25 years. The motorway proposals and the anticipated loss of habitats and species are not in isolation. Cumulative impacts of development on this nationally important landscape have already been catastrophic leaving habitats degraded and fragmented and making rare species more vulnerable. We cannot let the degradation of the Gwent Levels continue.
I don’t believe that building a new six-lane motorway through the Gwent Levels ancient landscape is sustainable. The Welsh Government should do all it can to encourage cars off the road by providing greener transport options rather than making more space for traffic. The £1.2 billion (in todays money) would be far better spent on the South East Wales Metro – a plan which has been ready for some years, but which has lacked the political will to build. Reopening small stations along the Magor to Castleton route could start immediately. No-one want to spend time in congestion. A good, frequent, affordable public transport option is what is really needed.
I also don’t believe that building this motorway meets the goals of the Future Generations and Well-Being goals and in fact brings a sad future for the people of Newport surrounded by air and noise pollution with hundreds of acres of their cultural and natural heritage destroyed on their doorstep.
I urge you to stop this new road from being built and protect the natural environment and wildlife of the Gwent Levels.
Please ensure the Welsh Government receives this email so my objection will be considered and counted.
Candidate for Newport West and lead candidate for SE Wales Regional List