THE Welsh and UK Governments must work together to create a Chepstow Bypass, a Gwent AM has said.

Earlier this week the Argus reported a new report had suggested a bypass could be the answer to congestion and pollution problems in the Monmouthshire town.

With the end of tolls on the two Severn bridges last month having already led to an increase in traffic, and thousands of new homes being built near the town, it is predicted problems could get worse.

Speaking in the Assembly earlier this week, Monmouth AM Nick Ramsay threw his support behind the bypass proposal.

The Conservative AM was speaking after first minister Mark Drakeford said the Welsh Government was working alongside Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire councils to determine if the scheme was realistic.


Fresh calls for Chepstow bypass to help solve chronic congestion problem which has plagued area for decades

Tolls on the Severn bridges abolished today after 52 years

Plans to build up to 200 homes on edge of an AONB in Chepstow

Mr Ramsay said: "The abolition of the Severn tolls was a very welcome decision in south east Wales and, indeed, the wider south Wales M4 corridor, improving connectivity with the south west of England.

"But there's already evidence that it's impacting on traffic levels in and around Chepstow, as was predicted.

"You'll be aware that Chepstow already exceeds World Health Organization limits for air pollution due to chronic congestion.

"I welcome what you've said so far about ongoing collaboration and discussion with the UK Government. Could you ensure that those discussions do continue and that, indeed, we do develop a real plan to make sure that in the not-so-distant future we do see that much-needed bypass built south of Chepstow, so that the people of Chepstow can enjoy the sort of standard of living that they deserve and, indeed, commuters and general travellers in Chepstow do not suffer the sort of delays, congestion and pollution that they have to date?"

The first minister replied: "My colleague, Ken Skates, met with the leader and the chief executive of Monmouthshire County Council yesterday and this was amongst the issues discussed there.


Fresh calls for Chepstow bypass to ease traffic

Future development could increase air pollution, say council

Chepstow's high air pollution figures 'not a revelation', says town councillor Jez Becker

"The stage one assessment of options will include actions to reduce traffic volumes.

"It will examine the case for a bypass.

"It will look at improvements to existing routes and it will look at measures that can improve air quality.

"We recognise that those solutions can only be successfully delivered in consultation with cross-border organisations, such as Gloucestershire County Council, the Forest of Dean District Council as well as Welsh interests, and we will continue to make sure that that work is taken forward."

It is predicted a bypass would cost more than £100 million, with other proposals being considered including a new motorway junction along the M48 near the St Pierre golf resort and improved rail services.


Three Newport takeaways prosecuted for selling unsafe food

Man's anger after biting into "contaminated" McDonald's burger at Pontypool restaurant

Torfaen couple hoping to put horror crash behind them after sentencing of drink driver who hit them

Due to Chepstow's proximity to the English border, a bypass scheme would require cooperation of the Welsh and UK Governments, as well as Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire councils.

Welsh secretary Alun Cairns also spoke on the scheme in Parliament this week, saying abolishing the tolls had "created challenges".

He said: "We need better integration for projects such as the Chepstow bypass and other road projects that work cross-border, and we need to harness those as priorities."