THE long-delayed Eastern Bay Link Road looks set to go ahead
by 2016 after the Welsh Government announced it “intends to progress” the
multi-million- pound scheme.
The road, from the city’s east to the Bay, would effectively
complete a circular dual-carriageway system when added to the M4 to the north
and the existing A4232 Ely link road to the south-west.
Long seen as the missing link in Cardiff’s road network, the
3.4-mile stretch would connect the Ely link road to the Lamby Way/Rover Way
roundabout and run along the coastline.
It’s hoped the new stretch of road would cut congestion in
areas like Newport Road and Rover way.
A transport expert, however, said the priority should be on
investing in public transport, not new roads.
In a statement updating her priorities, Transport and
Business Minister Edwina Hart said she “intends to progress” the Eastern Bay Link
Road and an upgrade to Junction 28 of the M4 at Tredegar.
It was among a list of key road projects highlighted for
delivery in the remainder of this Assembly, before the 2016 election, subject
to statutory consents and funding availability.
Mrs Hart said the Eastern Bay Link Road and improvements to
the M4 had an important role to play in “stimulating” the Central Cardiff
Enterprise Zone, which also falls within her portfolio.
A public consultation on building an M4 relief road through
south Newport will begin in September, she previously said.
Mrs Hart also announced improvements to Five Mile Lane,
between Bonvilston and Barry, and the development of a new railway station and
line extension to Ebbw town.
Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central,
said: “The relief road will hopefully make it easier to attract businesses into
the city to create jobs, while reducing the burden on suburban areas of the
But Professor Stuart
Cole, of the Wales Transport Research Centre, said the Eastern Bay Link
shouldn’t be one of Wales’ top transport priorities. “In Cardiff the movement
of people is best achieved by train and bus, both locally and over longer
distances,” Prof Cole said.