ECONOMY and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates cut the sod at Junction 28 of the M4 today to mark the start of £13.7 million of improvement work at the site.

The 16 month project will bring the stretch up to modern standards, increasing the amount of traffic that can travel through J28 Tredegar Park, Bassaleg roundabout and Pont Ebbw roundabout.

All you need to know about the 16 months of works starting at junction 28 tomorrow - including new speed limits and road closures

Ken Skates AM said: “I am delighted to mark the start of construction on this important project.

“The existing M4 junction 28 roundabout, together with the adjacent roundabouts at Bassaleg and Pont Ebbw are used by more than 6,000 vehicles an hour at peak times.

“Strategically, this junction is the principal link between the M4 and the major employment area of west Newport.

"It also provides a north-south link between the eastern South Wales Valleys and west Newport.

“I see the improvement of all three junctions as an important part of our programme for economic regeneration in the area, providing access to jobs, safe reliable journeys and improved resilience."

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Mr Skates said that he looks forward to returning to Newport when the junction opens next year and see the local communities feel these benefits.

Newport West AM Jayne Bryant, who was at the sod cutting, said: “I’m glad to see this comprehensive work taking place on these three roundabouts in Newport.  

"While I appreciate there will be disruption while the work takes place, once completed there will be an increase in capacity and it will go some way to easing congestion which residents currently face on a day to day basis.”

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The Leader of Newport City Council, Councillor Debbie Wilcox, was also at the event.

She said: “Newport City Council is pleased to be working in partnership with Welsh Government in delivering much needed improvements to Junction 28.

“As an important and strategic business hub, Junction 28 is home to some of Newport’s largest organisations.

"Maximising the volume of traffic that can pass through this part of the city each day will greatly improve the driving experience on our strategic road network."

Ms Wilcox said the plans have been widely welcomed by commuters, businesses and the city council in their efforts to attract continued inward investment to the area.

Ahead of the works, Newport City Council has issued a temporary prohibition of traffic order and a speed limit order.

In the order it says the temporary road closures will be in place between 8pm and 6am and that they will be phased as the work progresses.

It says diversion routes will be signed for each closure.

The order also states that a 40mph temporary speed limit will be in place in the majority of the roads affected from Tuesday for the duration of the works.

The order states cyclists won’t be allowed on most of the roads, but that alternatives routes will be provided.

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