REPAIRS to the Old Wye Bridge in Chepstow will now take place in September after Monmouthshire council delayed and reduced the scope of its original plans.

No exact date for the work has been confirmed but the £500,000 work will now begin in September two months later than anticipated.

And the council have said a full redecoration of the Grade I listed bridge has been postponed because of the cost of the work would be too high.

But a council spokesman said additional funding is being sought to pay for a full redecoration of the bridge before its bicentenary in July 2016.

The clerk of Chepstow town council, Sandra Bushell, said she hopes the council will delay works until after the Nato summit in Newport on September 4 and 5.

Ms Bushell said: “We are hopeful that they will avoid the traffic of the Nato summit when we understand there will be congestion on the roads.

“And we are very hopeful that Monmouthshire county council will work with the Welsh Government to ensure that the road safety on the A48 bridge for the Chepstow schoolchildren who attend Wyedean School.

“This is going to increase the traffic flow at peak school times because of people accessing the roads.”

But a Chepstow trader, Valerie Morgan, who runs Serendipity on St Mary Street, said the disruption is necessary if the bridge needs to be renovated.

She said: “If it needs to be fixed, it needs to be fixed. We have a second way to go across (over the A48 bridge). If the bridge falls down we won’t have any of it so it’s good to be prepared.

“Most people who take their children (to Wyedean School) drive so they can drive on the other road.”

But the mayor of Chepstow, Cllr Ned Heywood, said the work should be done as quickly as possible.

He told Chepstow town council last Wednesday: “The last thing we want to do is this in the winter. I can understand why there’s an urgency to get out of it. It doesn’t matter what month it is – people are going to say it causes disruption.

“As a resident of Bridge Street, it’ll be nice for me because there’ll probably be no traffic.”

The bridge, which runs from Tutshill to Chepstow, was given Grade I listed status in March 1975.