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Case for new motorway remains stalled

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The number of vehicles on Welsh roads inched up by less than 1% in 2013, according to new figures. This is the first increase after five successive years of decreases in traffic.

Traffic is still 3.4% lower than at its peak in 2007 [1]. The Welsh Government had predicted that traffic would already be above 2007 levels in their M4 consultation document [2]. Traffic in Newport, proposed location of the new stretch of motorway, increased by less than 0.3%.

Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, Gareth Clubb, said:

"The Welsh Government needs to take on board the possibility that we're not going to see long-term traffic growth in Wales. We're still 3% below the peak in traffic of 2007, yet the Welsh Government would have us believe that traffic levels will balloon more than 20% by 2030. Time after time, government traffic projections have been found to be hopelessly out of touch with reality - and the Welsh Government's forecasts are no exception.

"The Welsh Government has just failed in its target to reduce emissions associated with transport [3]. Surely we need to see an end to unnecessary and environmentally destructive road schemes?

"It's time for the sustainable travel revolution the people of Wales truly deserve".

Notes

1. 16,789 million vehicle miles in 2013, compared to 16,629 million in 2012 and 17,394 million in 2007 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/road-traffic-estimates-in-gre... Table 8901

2. http://wales.gov.uk/docs/det/consultation/130923m4consen.pdf p 11

3. http://www.foe.co.uk/cymru/english/press_releases/coal_powers_emissions_... Emissions associated with transport decreased by just 1.2% between 2011 and 2012, well below the 3% target set out in the Climate Change Strategy http://wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/climatechange/publicat...

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