Sunday 7 December 2014

The M4 Motorway And Immigration?

It's a fair point to make the case that the significant influx of immigrants in the last 10 years has in a number of cases put intolerable pressure on public services in various parts of the country. Thus we see that Farage attempts to make this point as a reason for being late on Friday at a venue in South Wales:
Nigel Farage today blamed immigrants for clogging up Britain's roads after traffic jams meant he missed an event charging Ukip supporters to meet him.

The Ukip leader said he arrived too late for a £25-a-head drinks reception in Port Talbot because the UK's 'open door immigration' policy meant that the M4 'is not as navigable as it used to be'.
However while we're not sure where exactly Farage was held up on the M4, we would query his assertion 'that open door immigration has meant that the M4 is not as navigable as it used to be'.

Like most motorways, the M4 suffers from congestion at busy periods in various locations along its route and has done so for a long time. Particular problem locations are between Reading and Slough and then around Bristol - with junctions connecting with the M32 and the M5.

More notoriously though the bottlenecks intensify as the M4 travels through South Wales as any regular commuter knows. Not long after crossing the (second) Severn bridge, the M4 becomes two lanes around Newport and Cardiff traveling through the Brynglas Tunnels.

To give an indication of how long this section has been an issue an M4 relief road to bypass the tunnels was proposed back in 1991, way before "open door immigration policy".

Then as we move further on towards Port Talbot, the motorway again reduces down two lanes and junctions 40 and 41 have been temporarily closed as an attempt to improve traffic flow - to local residents dismay.

As the National Transport Plan for Wales noted in 2010:
South-east Wales is densely populated, with significant conurbations at Cardiff and Newport and smaller urban areas nearby. Local and long-distance traffic converge in this region, particularly around the M4 motorway
In addition:
...the motorway around Newport does not conform to today’s motorway standards. It lacks continuous hard shoulders, has closely spaced junctions with sub-standard slip road visibility and narrows to a restricted two lane section through the Brynglas Tunnels. Heavy congestion occurs along this stretch and either side of it at peak hours.
Thus when we factor in that Farage was traveling early on a Friday evening is it any wonder he experienced significant delays. There was of course the train - Brunel built it for a reason.

Yet it's a worrying trend and reflection of UKIP's desire to be a single issue party on immigration that, rather than policy and detail, problems are increasingly being put down to immigration alone. Not only does it lend the party to ridicule but it is toxifying the eurosceptic debate.

That said in the short term UKIP have more pressing matters to attend to.


  1. A hefty chunk of the hgv traffic through the Brynglas tunnels is headed to and from the ferries for Ireland.

  2. At the risk of being labelled a 'knuckle dragger' (perhaps I am already), it matters not one jot what UKIP's internal and external problems are: we live in a system in which votes go to parties rather than candidates - I know that is not officially how things should work, however that is how they work at present - and a vote for UKIP, whatever the faults of those steering the party, is a vote against the big two and a half, and more effective than spoiling one's ballot paper. In an ideal world I'd have the choice of three or four genuine independents who had spent the last four and a half years introducing themselves to the constituency yet there is none because we do not live in an ideal world and so I must vote for some other.

    Nigel's 'saloon bar lad' may be playing to what those who can afford delicate sensibilities profess to think of as 'the gutter', even if in private they deplore the inability of foreign serving staff to understand 'a pot of tea for two'; they mean absolutely nothing to those of who have been struggling to stay out of the gutter for years, often decades, and, knowing that an unpleasant old age is all we have to look forward to, are simply determined to take as many of the bastards with us when we go and to do for as many of the the bastards as we can in the interim.

    I don't care who I vote for, what they represent, how they are perceived, or what they do with their knuckles. This country is fucked, and I'm fucked with it, and all I want to do is all I can to say fuck you to those who have fucked me.

    Voting for Nigel is as good a way of saying that as any other.

    1. Brilliantly put; I really, really like this.

      "simply determined to take as many of the bastards with us when we go and to do for as many of the the bastards as we can in the interim"

    2. I like the idea of putting a metaphorical bomb up the bums of the established two parties. I like Nigel, he and his advisors have deftly positioned UKIP between Labour and Tory. Labour voters see them addressing their own concerns, Tories likewise. Pity the LibDems. UKIP, whatever happens at the next General Election, will hold the balance of power at least. Who would they wish to partner with, who would they rather not? Let's see, interesting times.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. I fully understand your sentiments William Guff, and I have a great deal of sympathy with your view. I wouldn't dream of calling you a 'knuckle dragger'.

      Unfortunately UKIP has reduced itself to a case of "voting for it" demonstrates the anger of the rest of them - i.e. "look we're really crap so voting for us illustrates with great clarity what people think of the rest".

      On a personal note, I simply want exit from the EU and as it currently stands UKIP sadly not only lacks the basics where it can achieve that aim but is actively hindering the Eurosceptic campaign. Thus I cannot currently support it.

      I wish it was different...

    5. @andy5759 UKIP will struggle to keep the seats they have. Carswell is the better bet largely because he is personally very popular in Clacton no matter who he stands for.

      Carswell it appears though is not on speaking terms with Farage and both him and Reckless are apparently not to receive party funds to defend their seats. Reckless is currently odds on to lose his at the GE.

      Yet again we see, which we have seen so many many times before, Farage cannot bear any challenges to his leadership.

      Based on that and UKIP' current poll rating (excluding the traditional 2 party squeeze come an election) UKIP won't be anywhere near holding the balance of power.

      If they miraculously do then I will donate a £100 to a charity of your choice @andy5759.

  3. Replies
    1. Aye, sorry it's a typo...damn blogspot won't allow me to make edits regarding comments.