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Port Talbot businessman argues for junction 41 M4 closure

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 30, 2014

Comments (7)

A BUSINESSMAN who has worked in Port Talbot for 26 years has said he wants junction 41 of the M4 closed.

Jonathan Knight, who lives in Bridgend, has travelled the M4 between the two towns most days during that time — and said persistent accidents and delays are why he thinks the westbound onslip and eastbound offslip should be shut off.

More than 20,000 people signed a petition against Welsh Government proposals to close the westbound on-slip and eastbound off-slip roads at junction 41 from August.

But earlier this month, minister Edwina Hart overturned the full trial closure — and said only the westbound junction would close during peak times for the trial.

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But Mr Knight said he believes the original plan should go ahead, to avoid long delays and frequent accidents.

He said: "(There is) huge difficulty for emergency vehicle access due to volume of traffic and narrow emergency lanes."

Mr Knight added: "Those opposing closure of junction 41 demonstrate, in my view, disregard for the wider community that use the M4 and suffer from the delays and accidents caused by this flawed junction design."

"Port Talbot is not a shopping destination in the way Swansea or McArthur Glen is.

"Few people from Swansea, Bridgend or Cardiff set out for a day's shopping in Port Talbot and the very few that may aren't going to be put off by the closure.

"Whichever way you look at it, the economy of Port Talbot is not going to be affected significantly by the closure."

He said claims of greater pollution in the town centre, due to increased traffic, was an argument that could be dealt with easily, adding: "Station Road is the town centre and that is completely unaffected by the closure.

"The alternative route plan designates Harbour Way and Heilbronn Way as the main traffic thoroughfares.

"Furthermore, with a faster flowing M4, there will be less pollutants on the elevated carriageway. Move them faster and there will be less pollution."

Finally, he said a new £7 million bridge in Baglan would redirect traffic away from Sunnycroft roundabout, eliminating problems there.

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  • mdcurran  |  June 01 2014, 4:46PM

    The Welsh Government has spent millions of pounds on the Port Talbot peripheral road hoping to reduce this congestion. Obviously it hasn't worked. It was a scheme doomed to failure from the outset. Another complete waste of cash due to a lack of forward thinking. Another thing - before this new bridge is built, I hope that when the new M4 Briton Ferry has to close due to high winds again, the idiots in the highways department change the sequence of lights at Baglan roundabout where ALL the west and east bound traffic converge!

    |   1
  • Swayneseye  |  June 01 2014, 1:00PM

    The M4 congestion in this area is cause by the volume of traffic joining the M4. There is no tailback onto the motorway from the east=bound off slip. Restricting access from the east-bound on- slip and stopping access from the west-bound on-slip would be the sensible solution to my mind.

  • williamwaun  |  May 31 2014, 8:11PM

    Well said junius-ponds

    |   -7
  • junius_ponds  |  May 30 2014, 10:00PM

    Not sure what sort of businessman he is but doubt if it is anything other than yard maintenance. Where the heck do you think those cars are going to go to access or get off of the M4? Oh yeah, great idea...just push the congestion problem onto someone else. Works for you eh dude? And another thing...you complain about the congestion at that junction but then you go on to say that not that many cars use it anyway so its no big deal. Do you see how that makes you sound like a moron?

    |   -12
  • 3l1zab3th  |  May 30 2014, 9:50PM

    My Husband travels from j47 to Bridgend & back at least 5 days a week & he states "Well done Sir."

    |   6
  • williamwaun  |  May 30 2014, 7:40PM

    Put average speed cameras through Port Talbot. Why can't he jump on the train much easier for him.

    |   -3
  • swanseagraham  |  May 30 2014, 5:59PM

    Finally, someone speaking sense!

    |   7