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New M4 road "threatens future" of Newport Docks

The owners of Newport docks, which supports 3,000 local jobs, say they are concerned about its future because of plans to build a new M4 relief road south of the city.

Credit: Associated British Ports

Associated British Ports says the route could impact on its existing operations and "future development of the Port of Newport."

Newport is Wales’ leading general cargo port, handling in excess of 1.5m tonnes of cargo per year. Its operator, ABP, is repeating its concerns over the Port’s future on the day that Assembly Members prepare for a debate in the Senedd on the wider importance of ports to the Welsh economy.

ABP says the route would mean building a bridge which would bisect the North and South Docks, creating a height restrictions and a report found that 58% of vessels entering the North Dock during 2004-2008 would not have been able to access it if the proposed bridge had been in place.

This height restriction would be introduced against a backdrop of a global trend of increasing cargo and vessel size...The M4 bridge in its current proposed ‘black route’ position will also limit how mobile cranes and other large plant are deployed across different areas of the port.

– Matthew Kennerley, Director of ABP

ABP says the plans are "a real threat" to the future of Newport docks.

ABP has proposed an alternative crossing point several hundred metres further north of the current proposal, but says this has not been accepted by the Welsh Government.


"Kidney infection" mum gives birth at GP surgery

A woman went to her GP with a kidney infection and came out with a baby!

Clare Evans of Newport had no idea she was pregnant. Credit: Wales News Service

Clare Evans, 24, had no idea she was pregnant when complained of tummy ache. The NHS helpline diagnosed a suspected kidney infection - and Clare went to her local doctors's surgery in Newport for a check-up. But her waters broke and she went into labour in the surgery in front of the surprised GP.

I was examined by a doctor and told they could see the baby's head and I was nine centimetres dilated. I was so shocked; I told them that I didn't know I was pregnant. My life changed then and there in a matter of seconds.

– Clare Evans

Little Erin Louise Roberts was delivered by a surprised doctor at the surgery and tipped the scales at 6lbs 12oz, and is doing well. First-time mum Clare said she had no signs of pregnancy and had no bump, "It was a surprise but I can't find words to say just how thrilled I am."

Northern Irish leaders meet First Minister for talks

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness are both due to meet Carwyn Jones Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA

The First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland are due to hold talks with the Welsh First Minister later today. Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness will discuss co-operating with Carwyn Jones to seek more devolution following the promises that have been made to Scotland.

The Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, is not expected to be present as he is preparing to hand over to his successor, Nicola Sturgeon. Once Sturgeon is in post, Welsh and Northern Irish leaders will look to discuss devolutions matters with her.

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