Going to Wales is less of a pleasure than it used to be because of the Brynglas Tunnels, which carry the M4 motorway through Newport.

The almost quarter of a mile long tunnels have been around for more than 50 years and have been inadequate for motorists since the first day they were open.

Now if you go either east or west along the M4 most times you are held up as three lanes converge to two. If there is an accident in the area, the situation just gets worse.

The £3m project for the tunnels and the adjacent M4 motorway Usk bridge were planned by the then Newport Corporation in August 1959.

Both structures were complete and open to traffic in May 1967 and several houses had to be demolished due to structural weaknesses caused by the tunneling.

But when it came to organising the building of motorways UK governments have always been clueless. Take the even more modern M40 where the High Wycombe exit pinches to two lanes, and traffic builds up in either direction.

Almost as soon as the M4 Newport bypass (junctions 24-28) opened, traffic levels had grown to such a degree that the road had to be widened to three lanes in both ways.

This was finished in 1982 but with the exception of the tunnels.

Partly due to regular tailbacks at the tunnels, a variable speed limit is in place between junctions 24 and 28.

Plans for improvements have been submitted but little if anything have been done to remedy the situation.