Wales

Traffic 'worse' at Newport M4 junction after £13m upgrade

Traffic jams on the A467 at Rogerstone Image copyright Lindsey Humphrey
Image caption Lindsey Humphrey said there were "too many cars on the road", leading to queues such as this at 06:40

A £13m upgrade of a congestion hotspot has led to "daily" significant delays, motorists have said.

Work on junction 28 of the M4 was finished in the autumn, but commuters have claimed rush-hour traffic jams persist.

Newport West AM Jayne Bryant raised the issue in the Senedd, saying daily delays on the A467 "can't simply be attributed to teething problems".

The Welsh Government said more surveys of traffic flow would take place.

As part of the work, permanent traffic lights were installed with "smart signalling", designed to ensure a smooth traffic flow.

However, on Tuesday, the signal sequencing failed, leading to long delays and prompting contractor Costain to issue an apology.

Ms Bryant said, in one morning alone, she received more than 40 complaints about congestion and described the situation as "worse than ever before".

Image copyright Welsh Government
Image caption An artist's impression of the completed work at junction 28 of the M4

Lindsey Humphrey, who lives in Blackwood, Caerphilly county, was forced to change her start time at work from 08:30 GMT to 07:00 as it was taking her 90 minutes to travel 22 miles.

She said: "I have seen the traffic increase over the past four months but I think that's because more people are trying to avoid rush hour, which long term will mean 06:00 will soon become the new rush hour.

"My concern is health and safety - the earlier people are getting up to avoid traffic the more tired they are and I think we will soon see an increase in accidents."

She does have sympathy for Costain, saying "it's not their fault there are simply too many cars on the road".

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: "We recognise the on-going issue on the A467 (Forge Road) and are working hard to address them.

"This includes a more extensive package of traffic survey work, which will begin imminently.

"This will provide a greater understanding of the traffic flows, congestion and actual driver manoeuvres to inform any adjustment to the traffic signals and/or road layout arrangements."

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