‘Urgent action needed’ over Chepstow traffic gridlock

First published in Monmouthshire news

“URGENT action” is needed to improve traffic congestion in Chepstow, according to Assembly Member Nick Ramsay.

Mr Ramsay has said he will be looking to increase pressure on the Welsh Government to deal with the issue following major incidents of traffic gridlock in the town in recent weeks.

The issue was raised with Mr Ramsay by town councillor for Larkfield, Paul Pavia, following the recent tailbacks through the town and concerns about the resulting pollution.

Mr Ramsay said: “I appreciate local concerns about traffic problems in Chepstow and the busy trunk road. I’m taking up the matter with the Welsh Government as urgent action needs to be taken to improve the current situation.”

The Free Press reported earlier this month how Cllr Peter Farley, who sits on Monmouthshire council and Chepstow town council had called for a new road to relieve the congestion.

The call came after the latest congestion incident in which a broken down lorry caused a jam to stop Hardwick Hill and Mount Pleasant on May 2 and caused tailbacks throughout the town centre.

Cllr Pavia said the progress of road works in other Welsh towns, such as Newtown in Montgomeryshire, showed a potential bypass project around Chepstow could take years to get off the ground if work is not started urgently.

He said: “(Work on a proposed new bypass) has taken a long time and it has really had a detrimental impact on Newtown. We do not want Chepstow left for so long.

“If a bypass is what the community wants, we need to start driving it forwards. It has really taken years. If we are going to look at one then it needs a lot of community and political capital.”

And Cllr Pavia said any plans from Monmouthshire council need to be more widely publicised than they have been in the past for people affected by traffic.

He said: “I think (news of progress) needs to come through the town council and we can make it more public, particularly for the residents of Hardwick Hill."

Monmouthshire council has said it is “continuously monitoring air quality” in Chepstow in light of concerns about pollution on Hardwick Hill when traffic causes congestion there. Last year the pollution emissions on the road and the A48 exceeded EU-set annual air quality objective levels.

The Free Press tried to contact the Welsh Government for a response.

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