South West Wales

M4 slip road closure 'hitting businesses in Port Talbot'

Junction 41 closed Image copyright David Rees
Image caption The closure is aimed at easing congestion on a stretch of the M4 at peak times

The temporary closure of an M4 slip road is hitting business at a nearby shopping centre, its manager said.

The westbound on-slip of junction 41 closes from 07:00 to 09:00 and 16:00 to 18:00 GMT on weekdays during a six-month trial which started in August.

Aberafan Shopping Centre manager Steve Redmore said monthly footfall has fallen by 16,080 (12%) from its usual 134,000 since then.

The Welsh government said it is monitoring footfall during the trial.

Mr Redmore said: "It's a huge amount and what we're finding is that our trading day has gone from an eight-hour day to six hours because, come 3:30, people tend to head home only because they know they're going to get snarled up in traffic."

He said a permanent part-time closure of the junction would "adversely affect the whole town".

He added: "If you continue to put obstacles in people's way, then they are not going to come."

A Welsh government spokesman said it was too soon to draw any conclusions from the trial, adding: "We have received positive feedback from drivers about the improved traffic flows on the M4."

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