BUSINESS Minister Edwina Hart has agreed for a trial closure of an M4 junction in Port Talbot.
In a letter to Assembly Members, Mrs Hart, said: “In my oral assembly questions of March 5 I made you aware that the Welsh Government is currently undertaking a detailed study into the traffic flows around the Port Talbot area.
“As part of this study, I have agreed to the trial closure of the westbound on-slip and eastbound off-slip roads at Junction 41 under an experimental order, with the aim of improving traffic flows on the M4 motorway through the Port Talbot area.
"The studies predict an increase in the capacity of the M4 by 11 per cent westbound and two per cent eastbound as a result of the trial closures.
“Estimated wider economic benefit of time and accident savings on the M4 is expected to be over £1 million
Mrs Hart said the trial will start in summer 2014, but it is unknown how long it will last for.
She added: "During the course of the trial, comments will be invited from the
"A package of small scale mitigation measures to junctions along the A48 trunk road and local highway network will take place before the trial.
"Funding of £521,000 has been offered to Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council to cover the cost of local highway mitigation measures, but as yet this has not been formally accepted."
Thousands of people have signed a petition against any sliproad closures.
Aberavon AM David Rees said: “I must express my huge disappointment that this decision has been taken and I intend to meet with as many local groups as possible in the coming months in order to ensure they feed their comments into the review process during this ‘trial’ period."