David Rees AM expresses outrage at proposed closure of M4 Junction 41

David Rees, AM for Aberavon, has expressed outrage at the decision to trial a temporary closure under an experimental order of Junction 41 of the M4 in Port Talbot.

David said: ‘I must convey my huge disappointment at this decision to trial a closure of this junction. I fully understand that there are traffic delays at peak hours along this stretch, but such a situation is no different to that affecting key trunk roads in other areas, particularly Cardiff and Swansea. Although the proposals outline a temporary closure, there is no indicated end-date, and an experimental order of this kind can last up to 18 months, with objections to it becoming permanent required to be submitted within the first six months.

Notwithstanding the suggested economic benefits of time and accident savings, we must consider the wider economic concerns. Local businesses are extremely fearful of an adverse economic impact, while many residents from Port Talbot, the Afan Valley and Maesteg areas, who use this junction to travel to and from work, will now have greater difficulty on their journeys and are likely to face increased traffic jams. I am further concerned about the potential impact on our emergency services, who are likely to face lengthier and more difficult journeys during peak times.

A key priority must be to ensure that the people of Port Talbot and the Afan Valley have their say on this issue. I intend to meet with as many local groups as possible over the coming months, in order to ensure that they feed their comments into the review process during this ‘trail’ period. I also suggest that people sign the e-petition on the National Assembly’s website by April 15th 2014 on this issue. I would further encourage Neath Port Talbot Council to consider mitigation measures provoked by this decision as a matter of urgency ’