People of Port Talbot want their roads back

David Rees AM for Aberavon yesterday once again challenged the First Minister on the future of the trial closure of the west bound entry slip road at Junction 41 of the M4 in Port Talbot. He called for it to be suspended at the end of March, prior to any final decision being made on the future of the junction in order to allow the town centre to build its economy and to release the pressures on roads around the town, especially those in Baglan.

During First Minister’s questions on Tuesday afternoon, David Rees AM reiterated points he has made both before and during the trial closure to both the First Minister, and the Minster for Economy, Science and Transport on the impacts the trial closure of Junction 41 has had on the local economy and residents.

Mr Rees told the First Minister “The trial closure has led to congestion on the roads (within the town), local residents have had difficulties in getting to work, some have been threatened with dismissal as a consequence of the delays they have been experiencing by unsympathetic employers and the economy and retail aspect of Port Talbot town has taken a hit. I accept that you have indicated that the trial closure will continue until the end of March and the data collected will be analysed after that point. But after that date, will you look at the opportunity to suspend the trial closure to see if the economic growth of the town can get back to the situation where it was before?”

In his response to the David Rees, the First Minister told the Assembly that “the current trial period runs until the end of the month and a decision will be taken before the end of the trial on whether to continue the temporary closure based on the evidence to date. A decision will then be taken in May following analysis of the full trial data, including a discussion with Neath Port Talbot Council, as to whether to proceed with public consultation for a permanent closure order. The next stage is to take the decision on whether the closure should remain or not while the evidence is being assessed.”

David Rees AM said after, “Since the 4th August 2014, there has been a significant increase in traffic along both the A48 through Baglan and Afan Way. This has resulted in congestion problems on Sunnycroft roundabout and Briton Ferry roundabout as people try to use side roads to avoid the traffic within the town. In addition to this increased congestion we have also seen an increase in traffic accessing the M4 at Junction 40, Taibach”.

“I will continue to fight for the end of the closure of Junction 41 for the residents. This closure hasn’t only impacted on the people of Port Talbot town, residents from the Afan Valley and Maesteg as well as visitors to the town and employees working within the town have also been affected. I urge all residents and people affected by this trail closure to write to [email protected]before the end of March when the consultation ends” 

***ENDS***

***For further information please contact Angharad Thomas

on 02920 898 751 or [email protected] ***