A CONTROVERSIAL one-way traffic system in Usk dubbed 'a nightmare' by one resident has been delayed - but will begin soon.

The the one-way system was originally expected to be implemented at the end of last week, but it is now expected to be in place by July 29.

The system will use Bridge Street for motorists heading east towards Monmouth and the A40, while those heading in the opposite direction will be diverted via Twyn Square, Priory and Church Streets, Maryport Street, Mill Lane and Mill and New Market Streets.

A Monmouthshire council spokeswoman said: “Detailed planning to finalise arrangements are still taking place and nothing will be implemented until just before August 4 when hospitality businesses can begin to trade from inside their premises.

“This is when it is expected that footfall will increase and the risk to pedestrians will be heightened.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation thereafter as the safety of all who live in and visit the town is our top priority. We have no intention of extending these changes beyond the time of social distancing guidelines coming to an end in Wales.”

An announcement earlier this month that the trial would go ahead was met with significant opposition in the town.

The fear is that the system on Bridge Street will mean that heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), which often drive through the town despite restrictions being in place, will cause traffic jams on smaller roads and add to safety concerns.

The debate over a one-way system through Usk is not new. Proposals to make Bridge Street (A472) one-way were announced in February by consultancy firm Arup as part of its town improvement masterplan, but those plans were scrapped by Monmouthshire Council (MCC) and Arup in May after uproar from residents.

A statement on Usk Town Council's social media pages reads: "MCC are still drafting the proposal and looking at the issues raised by Usk residents and UTC. MCC are now looking at the one-way system commencing on Wednesday, July 29, and are continuing to work with the police with regards to HGV enforcement."

Resident Lyndon Nicholls said: "The level of pollution the one-way system caused to our street during the gas works in 2018 was ridiculous, and I am genuinely worried for our health.

"Not only that, but Mill Street - like other roads - are not suitable for large vehicles and the volume of vehicles that will have to use these roads if this system goes ahead.

"Large lorries will struggle to get through and it will be a nightmare."