Calls for Chepstow bypass taken to Parliament

Calls for the Welsh Government to build a bypass around Chepstow to tackle air pollution and ease congestion have been taken to Parliament.

Local MP David Davies raised the long-standing issue during Welsh Questions in the House of Commons today.

It comes after Chepstow was revealed last month to be the most polluted area of Gwent.

World Health Organisation (WHO) figures showed the town’s air had an estimated 12 micrograms of polluting material per cubic metre - the limit is 10.

Monmouthshire County Council said the “primary source” of pollution levels was the A48 trunk road, which cuts straight through Chepstow and is the responsibility of the Welsh Government.

Addressing Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, Monmouth MP Mr Davies said: “I thank my right honourable friend for the interest that he has taken in this issue.

“Will he continue to press the Welsh Labour Government to fulfil their obligations by building a Chepstow bypass and showing the same commitment to clean air and a better environment that is being shown by this Conservative government?”

Stating he shared the concerns of Monmouthshire councillors having recently met with them to discuss air pollution, Mr Cairns said: “The abolition of the tolls on the Severn crossings represents a huge opportunity for economic growth in Chepstow and Monmouthshire, but we must also be alive to these sorts of pressures.”

He added UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling had established a strategic roads group in Britain, in which cross-border issues could be looked at.

Mr Cairns said he was “disappointed” Welsh Government officials were not present at the group’s meeting last week but added: “We can continue to engage on a positive basis to ensure that these cross-border opportunities are exploited to the best of our ability.”

The idea of a Chepstow bypass has been repeatedly suggested for a number of years, with a petition presented to the local authority last summer signed by more than 200 people.