Associated British Ports (ABP) said it had been left with no option but to formally object to the proposed M-4 route resulting in a six-lane bridge cutting its port of Newport in two and resulting in a height restriction on access to the North Dock which would physically exclude around 50 per cent of ships that currently utilise this area.
ABP, the owners and operators of the port, are formally lodging its objections to the Welsh Government and the Secretary of State for Transport against the compulsory purchase of around 87 acres of land through the centre of the port to make way for the motorway bridge as part of a new M4 relief road.
ABP believes that the loss of almost 20 per cent of the port’s total land area, coupled with the damaging impact on port operations, will affect existing import and export activities, and will also have long-lasting, irreparable consequences for the port and, potentially, the prosperity of the region and the growth of the Welsh economy.
Matthew Kennerley, director of ABP South Wales, said: “This would be a potentially devastating blow for the port of Newport which supports around 3,000 local jobs and contributes £186mn to the local economy every year.
“We need to protect the port and ensure that it can continue to grow, creating more jobs and prosperity for local people. ABP has repeatedly expressed its serious concern at the impact on the port."