PLANS to secure funding for the next stage of the Chepstow bypass proposals may have been set back after the Western Gateway transport agency – which covers southwestern England – declined to back the project.

Monmouthshire County Council and Gloucestershire County Council jointly funded the initial Welsh transport appraisal guidance (WelTAG) study at a cost of £33,839.

Both authorities are now looking to the governments in Westminster and Cardiff Bay to help fund WelTAG’s costly second phase, dubbed WelTAG2.

But according to Monmouth MP David Davies, the UK government was only willing to part-fund WelTAG2 if the Western Gateway Sub-national Transport Body listed Chepstow bypass as one of its priority schemes.

On Tuesday, Gloucestershire County Council confirmed the bypass scheme had not been selected as a priority scheme by Western Gateway.

In a statement, a spokesman for that council said: “Gloucestershire County Council promoted the bypass scheme to Western Gateway, who consider that the proposals are not sufficiently developed to provide assurance of a construction start date before 2025 – which is a requirement of the available funding.

“Through our efforts, there is now recognition of the need for a scheme at Chepstow which will be considered for financial backing beyond 2025.”

Monmouthshire County Council and Western Gateway were contacted for comment.