THE Wales Office will "push strongly" for the UK Government to hand over funding for the next stage of a report into the proposed Chepstow bypass, ministers have promised.

Wales Office minister Kevin Foster has said he will meet the Department for Transport next week to request the funds to create the detailed report, dubbed WelTAG2, on the viability of a Chepstow bypass - which is predicted to cost in the region of £1.2 million.

Mr Foster was responding to Monmouth MP David Davies, who, as chairman of the Welsh Affairs Committee, had made renewed calls for the UK government to contribute one-third of the cost of the report.

READ MORE: David Davies seeks Chepstow bypass funding pledge from UK Government

Mr Davies said rush-hour gridlock in Chepstow was "absolutely intolerable", with drivers often waiting an hour or more to enter and exit the town.

Plans to build huge housing estates over the border in Gloucestershire, he added, were "causing a great deal of angst in the Chepstow area".

Several large housing developments have also been proposed near Chepstow on the Monmouthshire side of the border.

Mr Davies said the "obvious solution" was a bypass, and asked Mr Foster and Welsh secretary Alun Cairns about the likelihood of the Wales Office part-funding the next stage of the bypass study.

The initial WelTAG (Welsh transport appraisal guidance) report, which cost £33,000, was funded jointly by Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire councils, but those authorities are now looking to the governments in Westminster and Cardiff Bay to help fund the study's costly second phase, WelTAG2.

UK Government plans to fund WelTAG2 were set back earlier this year when the Western Gateway regional transport body declined to list the Chepstow bypass project as one of its priority schemes.

READ MORE: 'Bitterly disappointing' funding blow for future of Chepstow bypass project

But this week Mr Davies urged the Wales Office to try and revive the UK government's interest in funding WelTAG2.

Replying to the Monmouth MP's funding calls, Mr Foster said the Wales Office would "make the case very forcibly".

He added: "We want border communities to be able to work together, to open up an integrated economy between the west of England and the South East of Wales. It is in both communities’ interests and we will certainly be pushing for it very strongly from the office of the secretary of state."

Monmouthshire councillor Armand Watts said the Chepstow bypass was "something politicians should have been pushing for years".

"I'm not convinced it's suddenly going to happen," he said. "This has been going on for years."