A RENEWED call for a bypass for Chepstow to be made a priority by a regional multi-council transport group, has been made by Monmouth MP David Davies.

In June last year, the Western Gateway Sub-national Transport Body (STB) - comprising a group of councils from Gloucestershire down to the south coast of England - decided against making the Chepstow bypass project one of its priority schemes.

This meant the next stage of the bypass project, the second stage of a viability project, would not be eligible for Western Gateway STB funding. 


Monmouth MP David Davies at the time called the decision “bitterly disappointing”.

But now Mr Davies, who was made a Wales Office minister following the General Election in December, has called for Western Gateway STB to explain why it declined to prioritise the Chepstow bypass scheme.

Mr Davies said it is “impossible to understand” why the STB was unable to back a scheme local residents feel is “so desperately needed”.

“Chepstow suffers from chronic traffic congestion on a daily basis and further housebuilding in the area, both in Chepstow and the neighbouring Forest of Dean, will cripple the town,” he said.

“There are clearly massive infrastructure challenges to be tackled and only one solution, which is a bypass around Chepstow to divert traffic travelling between the Forest of Dean and M48 Severn Bridge junction away from the A48 Hardwick Hill area.”

At the time of the initial decision, Gloucestershire County Council - which sits on the STB - said Western Gateway felt the Chepstow bypass proposals “are not sufficiently developed to provide assurance of a construction start date before 2025 - which is a requirement of the available funding”.

Progress on Chepstow bypass proposals has slowed since the first stage of a viability report was completed and published 12 months ago.

That report, costing around £33,000, had been jointly funded by Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire county councils.

But the second phase of the viability study is estimated to cost as much as £1.2 million, Mr Davies said, with the councils looking to Welsh and UK Government support for funding.

The Welsh Government has so far allocated £100,000 towards the project, and Mr Davies said he had been informed by Wales Office officials that progress would be “more likely to advance” if the plans had the support of the STB.

Western Gateway has been contacted for comment.