Why we’re supporting the M4 Black Route

Plans for the expansion of the M4 in South Wales have been bouncing around for some years now, with disagreement over the ideal route, the impact on people, industry and wildlife and the overall question over whether it’s even needed at all figuring into the arguments.

At Alan R Jones we make no bones about it. We’re 100% for anything that offers relief around the outdated two-lane Bryn Glas Tunnels and their perma-traffic issues.

We’ve decided to present this blog in a simple Q&A style, so please read on:


What is the ‘Black Route’?

The phrase is a general term to describe a relief road through / around the Newport area, expanding the M4 motorway to bypass the daily traffic jams caused by the two-lane tunnels at the bottom of Malpas – a stretch of road that opened in 1966 and was designed to handle 1966 levels of traffic. The exact planned passage of the Black Route (or competing Blue or Red Routes) have been through many incarnations, with plans first being drawn up back in 1991 before being subsequently dropped and revived. The plans have proven controversial, and recently have even caused political arguments on Twitter!

The planned route will connect via M4 junctions 23A (Magor) and 29 (Castleton).


When will a decision be made?

In July 2014, the Welsh Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, stated that the scheme for the Black Route, would go ahead and could be in use by 2022. However there are many challenges to the plans and no work has yet to begin.

Arguments against the road have included some saying the build costs could be better spent on other aspects of Welsh infrastructure, or that the development will put local natural wetlands at risk. Some are also concerned that the project will have negative impact on the Newport Docks as the Black Route cuts directly across the area.

  • Scheduled starting date spring 2018.
  • Completion date of autumn 2021.
  • Estimated cost £1bn.


Why is it good for South Wales?

We understand the arguments against the Black Route but it’s a case of the benefits outweighing the risks. The updated road layout will undoubtedly be good for road access to the whole of South Wales, which can only be positive news for existing businesses in the area.

We also anticipate it’ll help lure other companies in, opening up opportunities for investment by removing one of the key obstacles to businesses wanting to operate in South Wales. And with investment comes employment, which has to be good news for our country.



Why is it good for our customers?

Above all, Alan R Jones is concerned for the wellbeing and satisfaction of its customers. From that perspective, the Black Route will relieve congestion, speeding up delivery times and adding much-needed consistency in traffic flows. That’ll make our delivery estimates more accurate and free up road haulage transit – let’s not forget UK road haulage represented 152 billion tonne kilometres in 2015, 76% of all goods transported in the country.

All in all it simply represents a win for our industry, our customers and the people of South Wales.

(Please click below for an expanded illustration)


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