South West Wales

Twice-a-day Port Talbot M4 junction closure costs £1.3m

M4 at Port Talbot (Pic: Kevin Corcoran) Image copyright Kevin Corcoran
Image caption Junction 41 of the westbound M4 is being closed twice a day in a bid to ease congestion on the Port Talbot stretch

Closing a motorway slip road twice a day around Port Talbot has cost £1.3m since August, it has been revealed.

The trial closure of Junction 41 of the westbound M4 is as part of an eight-month experiment aimed at reducing motorway congestion.

The cost so far is £806,000 plus another £500,000 for Neath Port Talbot council to make road network changes.

A Welsh government said it had received "positive feedback" from drivers about the trial so far.

The pilot project means the westbound slip road leading to Baglan is closed from 07:00-09:00 every morning and again at 16:00-18:00 every evening.

Local traders, residents and politicians have criticised the move saying that it has damaged trade in the town centre and pushed traffic problems onto small, local roads.

'Peak hours'

A decision will be taken in March 2015 on whether to proceed with full-time trial closures.

The costs are revealed in a Freedom of Information response from the Welsh government.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "We have already received positive feedback from drivers about the improved traffic flows on the M4 during the trial.

"The junction is only closed during peak traffic hours.

"We are monitoring the effects on footfall in the town, along with traffic flow on the M4 and local roads."

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