Contact your Assembly Member about this!
More information here.
Help to save Magor Marsh Nature Reserve and the Gwent Levels from the proposed M4 bypass, for the sake of the environment and for the wildlife. The proposed 'black route' M4 relief road around Newport, Gwent in South Wales will damage 2 nature reserves, 5 of Wales’ most precious nature sites (SSSIs), the Wales Coastal Path and the Celtic Trail, part of National Cycle Route 4. Pollution from construction and traffic will enter the ancient reen (ditch) systems that are home to, among other wildlife, rare birds, water beetles, aquatic plants, otters and water vole. And it will cut a dangerous divide across the Gwent Levels, right through their habitats. The new elevated bridge over the River Usk will be noisy and disruptive for people in South and Central Newport and experts believe the new road will not solve any traffic problems. It will cost the public over £1 billion, probably more than £2bn. But with the support of AMs it can be stopped.
And none of that will do anything about the longer-term problem of unsustainable road-building and increasing car use. Until our society does something about over-dependence on cars, there will be no end to this problem.
125 hectares of SSSI habitats (nationally designated areas for their wildlife) including grazing marsh and reedbed will be lost or irreparably damaged if it went ahead. The Gwent Levels is one of the jewels of Wales, with immense cultural and historical significance. This rare wetland complex habitat is nationally important for its wildlife and is protected by national designations that encompass rare water beetles and other aquatic bugs and wetland plants that live in and around the area’s network of reens and ditches. The wildlife that the new motorway threatens includes:
Otters – the biggest threat to this wonderful mammal is from road kills.
Water voles – a recent and successful reintroduction project of this keystone species means they are thriving in the planned area.
Breeding waders – lapwing, redshank and curlew all breed locally across the Levels, with further species on the nearby Newport Wetlands reserve.
144 Nationally Notable or Red Data Book aquatic invertebrate species (water bugs!) including water beetles and dragonflies have been recorded from the Gwent Levels.
The Levels also supports the nationally scarce rootless duckweed (Wolffia arrhiza). This is considered to be the world’s smallest flowering plant and occurs nowhere else in Wales.
The Gwent Levels have suffered from severe development pressure over the years, which has continually eroded this amazingly rich habitat. If the proposals for road building go ahead, one of the UKs largest surviving areas of ancient grazing marshes and reen systems with its associated, unique wildlife will be irreparably damaged. There will be no getting it back. Damage would not be limited to direct loss of habitat where the road is built; the road would create a barrier preventing the movement of wildlife between the protected areas not under concrete. In addition, the road will impede water movement between these isolated pockets and this could have permanently destroyed the wetland habitat. The pollution that runs off the road into the reen system is likely to pollute the water that is so vital for the important inhabitants of the wetlands.
Ask your AM to help block and prevent this wildlife disaster. Protect the Gwent levels!
We've been in touch with them for Ceredigion. Hopefully they will reply to say they oppose building a huge road over irreplaceable green wildlife areas. Either way, the results will be worth bearing in mind come voting time. We will update this if we hear anything further.
- Joyce Watson (Welsh Labour) = replied, but didn't clearly answer the questions (the reply was just an old statement pasted into an email) - we asked for clarification but have yet had none.
- Eluned Morgan (Welsh Labour) = no reply
- Elin Jones (Plaid Cymru) = no reply
Neil Hamilton (UKIP) = his office replied 22nd Feb 2017.
"Further to your emails regarding the M4 relief road in Gwent.
Congestion on the M4 corridor is a tax on jobs and prosperity in South Wales and extremely fast action must be taken to resolve this problem. Neil and UKIP stood on a manifesto supporting the 'Blue Route' rather than the 'Black Route' M4 relief road in South Wales. The 'Blue Route' is promoted by Professor Stuart Cole and proposes to use Newport’s Steelworks Road and upgrading stretches of the existing A48 to a grade separated dual carriageway. The 'Blue Route' is likely not to impact upon the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), wildlife and environmental features as much as the 'Black Route'.
Last October, Neil called upon the Welsh government to undertake a feasibility study of both routes and suggested that the studies made by Professor Cole needed to be broadened and accelerated. Both UKIP Assembly Members for the South Wales East area have met Professor Cole, who has kept the UKIP group and Neil informed of his research. Last December, Neil queried whether Welsh Government Ministers had met Professor Cole personally (or intended to do so).
Neil and UKIP's first and highest priority is to persuade the Welsh Government to support the 'Blue Route'. However, we will be prepared to enter into discussions and negotiations with the government on the 'Black Route', if the Welsh Government put no other option on the table. In those negotiations, Neil and UKIP, will try to preserve as many SSSIs, wildlife and environmental features that is possible.
Neil and UKIP once again reiterate that its first and highest priority is to persuade the Welsh Government to support the 'Blue Route'. This will continue to be a live issue moving forwards and we shall continue to monitor developments."