A PUBLIC meeting will take place this week to discuss Chepstow's chronic traffic problems.

Hosted by environmental group Transition Chepstow, the meeting is a chance for local people to suggest and debate immediate and short-term solutions to the frequent gridlock in and around the town during peak commuter hours.

READ MORE: How do you solve a problem like Chepstow's chronic congestion?

However, the meeting's purpose will not be to discuss the pros and cons of the long-mooted Chepstow bypass. The Transition group has instead called for quicker, and cheaper, solutions to Chepstow's infrastructure and congestion issues, for which it said there was "urgent need and public demand".

Transition Chepstow's co-ordinator Tim Melville, who will chair the meeting this week, said the event had already attracted a very high level of feedback and public interest. He was predicting a full audience turnout.

Among the political representatives whose attendance has been confirmed are David Davies, Monmouth's MP; local assembly member Nick Ramsay, Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) leader Peter Fox, chair of the local authority's strategic transport group, Cllr David Dovey; and Monmouthshire's opposition leader, Cllr Dimitri Batrouni.

READ MORE: David Davies says Chepstow traffic rivals Mexico City

Speaking to the Free Press ahead of this week's meeting, Mr Ramsay said he had repeatedly raised the issue of traffic congestion in Chepstow at the Senedd.

He added: “Congestion is the main issue for the town and will only get worse with an increasing population.

“Constituents regularly raise their concerns about traffic delays and pollution caused by traffic.

“I’m looking forward to hearing local people’s ideas and suggestions."

Mr Ramsay said he had also requested a senior officer from the Welsh Government's transport department to attend the Chepstow meeting.

The Welsh Government is responsible for Wales' trunk roads, such as the A48 which bisects the town and on which traffic is frequently brought to a near standstill at peak times.

County councillor Bryan Jones said MCC was working closely with its equivalents across the border, and the Welsh Government, to find potential solutions to Chepstow's traffic woes.

READ MORE: Highways England removes M48 roadworks which caused Chepstow traffic mayhem

The next step, he said, was to carry out in-depth studies of the available solutions using transport modelling.

"I welcome the community coming together to discuss this important issue and look forward to the feedback," Cllr Jones added. "In the meantime I am optimistic that the funding of this next stage of the study will be found and look forward to working with the Welsh Government and English authorities in developing actions to improve the wider transport issues of Chepstow and the surrounding area.”

Transition Chepstow is an environmental group, and said a reduction in car usage would be promoted at the meeting. High levels of air pollution had been recorded in the town, the group said, especially along the A48 at Hardwick Hill.

The public meeting to discuss Chepstow's traffic and congestion problems will take place at the arts hall in Chepstow School on Thursday, April 11, 7.30pm-9.30pm.