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M4 Relief Road

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Jantra

Re: M4 Relief Road

PostFri Mar 27, 2015 4:25 pm

we can't have motorways to every single village in the nation which is seemingly what you want to get at. I'd like a helicopter but the state ain't providing that for me either.

The facts are the facts. Wales does have lots of single carriageway roads but by and large these aren't congested. I travel quite a bit in my job and I do travel all over South Wales and very rarely if ever am I stuck in traffic except in and around Cardiff or Brynglas to Coldra. Don't dress up the need for the A470 to be widened as some necessity to keep Wales moving and generating economic output because that just isn't the case.

By the way, I'm not questioning why Welsh people would want to travel around Wales. I'm saying that widening the roads is not a pressing need given existing traffic volumes away from the East/West axis. I'd also go so far as saying that Welsh roads are also available for non Welsh people which, seemingly, you disagree with - your post certainly comes across that way.

My final point is that I'm entitled to my opinion as you are yours. That's not returning to my 'disagreeable former self'. That is me holding an opinion which I'd hazard a guess is shared by the majority - by all means invest in the nations infrastructure, but do it wisely based on need rather than want.
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Karl

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Re: M4 Relief Road

PostFri Mar 27, 2015 4:35 pm

I agree that past Brecon the A470 is at times laughable. I'd like to see it improved but beyond a few bypasses to avoid going through the middle of some very small towns the topography means it would be both incredibly difficult and incredibly expensive to do anything but tinker. There are stages where you could make it dual carriageway but these run for at most a few miles at a time before the terrain becomes very challenging and you are looking at cutting into the side of mountains or building bridges in order to continue.

Such a project would mean blowing a huge chunk of borrowed money and leave nothing left for the M4 and the A55 - both of which are probably more important in a strict economic sense than the A470. In a symbolic sense the A470 seems to act as a motif for the Welsh economy as a whole - in parts business like, modern and and efficient and in other parts so hopelessly outdated and parochial that it acts as a hindrance rather than a benefit. I'd love to see that change but realpolitik suggests that until we strike oil/plutonium/gold/bitcoins in the Brecon Beacons incremental improvements are the best we can hope for.
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Mr Blue Sky

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Re: M4 Relief Road

PostFri Mar 27, 2015 4:53 pm

Karl wrote:I agree that past Brecon the A470 is at times laughable. I'd like to see it improved but beyond a few bypasses to avoid going through the middle of some very small towns the topography means it would be both incredibly difficult and incredibly expensive to do anything but tinker. There are stages where you could make it dual carriageway but these run for at most a few miles at a time before the terrain becomes very challenging and you are looking at cutting into the side of mountains or building bridges in order to continue.

Such a project would mean blowing a huge chunk of borrowed money and leave nothing left for the M4 and the A55 - both of which are probably more important in a strict economic sense than the A470. In a symbolic sense the A470 seems to act as a motif for the Welsh economy as a whole - in parts business like, modern and and efficient and in other parts so hopelessly outdated and parochial that it acts as a hindrance rather than a benefit. I'd love to see that change but realpolitik suggests that until we strike oil/plutonium/gold/bitcoins in the Brecon Beacons incremental improvements are the best we can hope for.


My point is that rather than blowing the whole of our borrowing on one road, upgrading the Newport SDR instead would have left hundreds of millions for other projects. A couple of hundred million spent on bypasses on the A470 would be money well spent, in my opinion.

Links to England are already excellent compared to links between north and south Wales. Once the heads of the valleys dualing is complete there will be three dual carriageways running west to east, and I'm not including the M4 relief road in this as it duplicates an existing route.

I appreciate that many people in Wales see links to England as being more important than links within Wales, but I would argue that this is partly because the links within Wales are so bad that most people wouldn't consider travelling anywhere unless they were using m4, a55 or HotV road.

We Welsh nationalists are reviled by many an Uncle Twm, but it is far from being a thankless task. I absolutely love talking Wales up and nation building. It was always my dream job and guess what?

I'm living the dream.
Last edited by Mr Blue Sky on Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jantra

Re: M4 Relief Road

PostFri Mar 27, 2015 5:01 pm

@Mr Blue Sky

no one really disagrees that we should have 6 lane superhighways connecting everywhere we want to go but the reality is that Wales isn't that rich a country. Until there is a world shortage of grass we're going to stay that way. In that sense we have to be realistic and see that our money is going to be spent on projects that deliver biggest bang for buck rather than projects that give us a nice warm feeling inside.
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SPACCI

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Re: M4 Relief Road

PostFri Mar 27, 2015 5:27 pm

Comparing Wales to Germany is like comparing apples to pears.

How are we going to be able to pay that debt back? We won't. It will bankrupt us. If David Cameron is so concerned about the M4 around Newport being the 'foot on the windpipe of the Welsh economy' then maybe his Government could help ease the pain instead of burden us with a debt which we cannot pay back.

Jantra

Re: M4 Relief Road

PostFri Mar 27, 2015 5:31 pm

SPACCI wrote:Comparing Wales to Germany is like comparing apples to pears.

How are we going to be able to pay that debt back? We won't. It will bankrupt us. If David Cameron is so concerned about the M4 around Newport being the 'foot on the windpipe of the Welsh economy' then maybe his Government could help ease the pain instead of burden us with a debt which we cannot pay back.


I was pointing out that German manages with 2 lane motorways so why can't we?

As has already been said, if you want devolution then you have to accept that there will be some transfer payments that will be stopped. Road/Infrastructure is a devolved matter so we can no longer expect Westminster to fund our new roads.
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SPACCI

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Re: M4 Relief Road

PostFri Mar 27, 2015 6:22 pm

Germany also relies heavier on freight on rail and canals. All of our borrowing powers will be wasted on a small stretch of road. Germany and the UK can borrow what ever they want for roads and infrastructure.
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Carlos

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Re: M4 Relief Road

PostSat Mar 28, 2015 8:48 am

Are you seriously suggesting that we spend vast amounts of money on linking North and South Wales just to make it easier for Dai from aberdare to go meet his cousin Illtyd up in Abergele?

The A470 has had massive investment over the years - but where it is needed due to population and economicl factors - i.e. from Merthyr to Cardiff.

The M4, A55, A465 and lower end of A470 are all far more important for Wales than the empty sections in the middle which are used by the odd tractor.

Perhaps we should blow up the M4 to stop us pure breeds mixing with the English - Time to get real
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Mr Blue Sky

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Re: M4 Relief Road

PostSat Mar 28, 2015 10:30 am

Carlos wrote:Are you seriously suggesting that we spend vast amounts of money on linking North and South Wales just to make it easier for Dai from aberdare to go meet his cousin Illtyd up in Abergele?

The A470 has had massive investment over the years - but where it is needed due to population and economicl factors - i.e. from Merthyr to Cardiff.

The M4, A55, A465 and lower end of A470 are all far more important for Wales than the empty sections in the middle which are used by the odd tractor.

Perhaps we should blow up the M4 to stop us pure breeds mixing with the English - Time to get real


There are 700,000 people in north Wales effectively cut off from the 2 million in south Wales. Wouldn't it make sense for Wales' economy to link them together?

HS2 is costing £50 to £80 billion and duplicates a myriad of routes between London and the midlands. No Barnett consequentials will accrue to Wales as this is deemed a UK project, despite evidence that it will harm the Welsh economy.

It seems that some posters are divorced from reality and think that governments always act fairly and rationally.

Well, they don't. There are no votes for Labour or the Tories in improving the A470, A483 or A487. Your hyperbole and anti-Welsh rhetoric is symptomatic of the forelock-tugging mindset of some Welsh people, Carlos. That is, if you are actually Welsh.

The more that north-south routes are improved, the more people will use them and the more united our nation will become.
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DaiB

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Re: M4 Relief Road

PostSat Mar 28, 2015 11:02 am

North Wales is hardly 'cut-off' economically speaking. It's closely linked with the economy of North West England, in the same way that South Wales is closely linked with the economy of the M4 corridor. This arrangement works well for many parts of both areas, and artificially attempting to forge a link between the two by spending vast amounts of money on the road links between the two would, I venture, make very little difference to either region in reality.

None of this makes either area any less 'Welsh', it's just a consequence of Wales' geography and settlement patterns. Surely the most sensible and pragmatic way to approach investment is to build on the existing economic strengths of both North and South Wales, not swim against the tide in trying to join them together.
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