CALLS have been made for improved road safety and speeding enforcement along one of the Monmouthshire’s busiest B roads.

Residents, councillors, and highways officers met to discuss the B4245, which runs through Caldicot, Rogiet, Undy and Magor.

Issues of speeding, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) using the road as a shortcut and the need for footpaths were raised at a special meeting of the Severnside area committee.

Parts of the road in Caldicot and Magor have been designated as speed monitoring areas by the road safety watchdog, GoSafe.

But independent Cllr Frances Taylor told the meeting that Gwent Police had said that the Magor post was no longer viable.

“The average speed on the road means it doesn’t qualify as a GoSafe site but I think average speed is totally pointless,” said Cllr Taylor.

“This is a road that has 12,000 vehicle movements a day and at one point was the busiest B road in Gwent. I haven't seen a car there in months."

The road was the site of two serious car crashes in January which left two women in hospital in a serious condition.

One of the crashes happened on the stretch between Rogiet and Undy, where the national speed limit is enforced.

Conservative Cllr Lisa Dymock said that a third accident happened near Rogiet on the weekend, adding: “We can’t go on like this.”

The meeting also heard from members of the Magor and Undy Crime Prevention Panel who were hoping to start a community Speedwatch group in the area.

Labour Cllr Jim Higginson added: “If you’ve got people in hi-vis drivers do tend to slow down naturally.”

But Labour Cllr Alan Davies said that he had been informed by Gwent Police that a similar community scheme in Caldicot had been suspended.

“We know that the police haven’t got the resources, so it’s disappointing that there are people who want to do this but are unable to do so,” he said.

Concerns were also raised over HGVs using the road as a shortcut to areas such as the Severn Bridge Industrial Estate in Portskewett.

Trevor Harris, a resident of Dewstow near Caldicot, said that the speed limit should be cut to 20mph in residential areas and suggested a revised weight limit for HGVs.

“It’s not just the smaller lorries but I’ve seen 40-tonne Arctic lorries going along Dewstow Road, it’s absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

“The Severnside population has also gone up over the last five years, and you’ve got to think about the polluting effect these lorries are having on schoolchildren, especially Durand Primary which is right on the B4245 bypass in Caldicot.”

Roger Hoggins, head of operations at Monmouthshire County Council, said that a newly reduced speed limit would fail to register with some drivers.

“We can put in as many as we like but they’re not going to notice,” he added.

“The best way to stop speeding is to build or make the road in a way so that they can’t speed but building these road features doesn’t tend to go down well with residents.”

Mr Hoggins told members that the authority was developing a new road safety strategy and that the “complex” issues raised would be considered.

The strategy is expected to go out to public consultation in the future.

The committee agreed to invite representatives of GoSafe and Gwent Police to the next meeting on April 18.