Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Plan?
This is the Welsh Government’s adopted strategy to address transport related problems on the M4 Corridor around Newport in South Wales. The Plan consists of:
• A new section of 3-lane motorway between Magor and Castleton to the south of Newport; and
• Complementary measures:
- Reclassification of the existing motorway between Magor and Castleton – as a trunk road could enable traffic management, safety and revised access arrangements;
- A connection between the M4, M48 and B4245 - would provide relief to Junction 23A and to the local road network. It would also provide improved access to proposed park and ride facilities at Severn Tunnel Junction;
- Promoting the use of cycling - as an alternative to the car for journeys of up to three miles by providing new infrastructure or improving existing infrastructure; and
- Promoting the use of walking - as an alternative to the car for journeys of up to three miles by providing new infrastructure or improving existing infrastructure.
What are the alternatives to the Plan?
The Plan adopts the Welsh Government’s strategy to address transport related problems on the M4 Corridor around Newport. The decision making process took into account responses to the draft Plan consultation, which included the consideration of two reasonable alternatives to the draft Plan and the Do Minimum scenario (doing nothing above what is already planned or committed). The identified reasonable alternatives were options that the Welsh Government considered could meet the objectives for the M4 Corridor around Newport, as outlined within the draft Plan Consultation Document. The two reasonable alternatives included:
• The Red Route and its Complementary Measures: A dual 2-lane all-purpose road to the south of Newport; and
• The Purple Route and its Complementary Measures: A motorway along an alternative alignment to the South of Newport.
Alternatives that were put forward during the consultation have also been taken into account as part of the Welsh Government’s decision making on its Plan for the M4 Corridor around Newport. For more information, see the .
What is meant by ‘Do Minimum’?
The Do Minimum scenario means doing nothing above what is already planned or committed and this is the scenario against which options to do something are assessed. In this case, it includes all recent network modifications (such as the Junction 24 improvement, the Variable Speed Limit system and the Steelworks Access Road) and any committed schemes (such as the Junction 28/Bassaleg Roundabout/Pont Ebbw Roundabout improvement).
What are the objectives for the M4 Corridor around Newport?
The Welsh Government, with the help of the others, identified 15 ‘goals’ for the M4 Corridor around Newport. These aim to address the identified transport related problems, which are outlined in the draft Plan Consultation Document and associated assessments. For clarity, goals are referred to as “Transport Planning Objectives” (TPOs) in the Welsh Transport Planning and Appraisal Guidance (WelTAG). The 15 goals (listed below) provide a framework in which to appraise the relative performance of options.
As part of previous public consultation, respondents have been asked to prioritise up to 4 goals out of the full 15. Goals 1,4,5 and 7 shown in bold italics were selected the most.
1. Safer, easier and more reliable travel east-west in South Wales.
2. Improved transport connections within Wales and to England, the Republic of Ireland and the rest of Europe on all modes on the international transport network.
3. More effective and integrated use of alternatives to the M4, including other parts of the transport network and other modes of transport for local and strategic journeys around Newport.
4. Best possible use of the existing M4, local road network and other transport networks.
5. More reliable journey times along the M4 Corridor.
6. Increased level of choice for all people making journeys within the transport Corridor by all modes between Magor and Castleton, commensurate with demand for alternatives.
7. Improved safety on the M4 Corridor between Magor and Castleton.
8. Improved air quality in areas next to the M4 around Newport.
9. Reduced disturbance to people from high noise levels, from all transport modes and traffic within the M4 Corridor.
10. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle and/or person kilometre.
11. Improved travel experience into South Wales along the M4 Corridor.
12. An M4 attractive for strategic journeys that discourages local traffic use.
13. Improved traffic management in and around Newport on the M4 Corridor.
14. Easier access to local key services and residential and commercial centres.
15. A cultural shift in travel behaviour towards more sustainable choices.
What is the preferred route?
The 2014 Preferred Route (TR111) was announced by Welsh Government following the adoption of the M4 Corridor around Newport Plan. This route which protects a corridor for planning purposes to the south of Newport is a modification of the 2006 Preferred Route.
Where can I find more detailed scheme design information?
More detailed information will become available as part of the development of the next stages of the scheme, which will include preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
What will happen next?
The M4 Corridor around Newport Plan has set out the Welsh Government’s adopted strategy to address transport related problems on the M4 Corridor around Newport. Following the adoption of this Plan, the Welsh Government has modified the 2006 Preferred Route to protect the corridor to the south of Newport for planning purposes.
The Welsh Government will develop schemes in detail to deliver the Plan, building on its strategy level assessments and associated development work. Scheme development will require Environmental Impact which is published in an Environmental Statement (ES), and Habitats Regulations Assessments, published together with the draft Statutory Orders.
The public and organisations can comment on the Environmental Statement. They can also support, comment on, or object to the draft Orders or put forward alternative proposals. Depending on the nature and number of any objections received to the published draft Statutory Orders, a Public Local Inquiry (PLI) may be held before an independent Inspector appointed for the purpose by the Welsh Government on nomination by the Planning Inspectorate.
The Welsh Ministers would take into consideration any representations on the Environmental Statement before deciding whether or not to proceed with the Scheme, with or without modifications. If the Welsh Ministers decide to proceed with the Scheme for which the Environmental Statement has been published, then they must publish information about the consultation carried out, in compliance with the Highways (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007, the representations received and any changes made as a result of those representations. .
The potential key dates for progressing the M4 Corridor around Newport Plan are:
1. Publication of draft Orders and Environmental Statement: Spring 2016;
2. Public Local Inquiry: Winter 2016/2017;
3. Start of Construction: Spring 2018;
4. Completion of Motorway Construction: Autumn 2021; and
5. Completion of work associated with reclassification of existing motorway: Spring 2022.
How can I stay involved?
Specific details of the measures outlined in the M4 Corridor around Newport Plan will be developed as part of scheme design, involving engagement with local communities and key stakeholders such as Newport City Council, Monmouthshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales.
For further information, please visit this website for updates, or contact the Welsh Government Department of Economy, Science and Transport:
Post: Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NQ
Telephone: English 0300 0603300 / Welsh 0300 0604400