Cross-border transport body asked to explain Chepstow bypass decision

A regional transport body has been asked to explain its refusal to prioritise the proposed Chepstow bypass scheme for government funding.

The Western Gateway Sub-National Transport Body (STB) – which was set up to provide strategic leadership when discussing transport infrastructure requirements with government on both sides of the Severn estuary - has been criticised for refusing to list Chepstow bypass as a priority for the Department for Transport’s Large Local Majors investment funding programme.

Monmouth MP David Davies said it was “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.”

A report detailing the next stages of potential solutions which could alleviate traffic congestion and air pollution problems in Chepstow, including a bypass, will cost somewhere between £400,000 and £1.2m.

Monmouthshire County Council and Gloucestershire County Council jointly funded the initial Welsh transport appraisal guidance (WelTAG) study.

Both authorities are now looking to the governments in Westminster and Cardiff Bay to help fund the costly second phase known as WelTAG2.

Mr Davies has previously been told by Wales Office officials that progress towards a bypass would be “more likely to advance” if it had the support of the Western Gateway STB.

“I am therefore extremely disappointed by the STB’s decision because these problems are being partly fuelled by an increase in housebuilding in Gloucester,” he said.

“I would have hoped that an organisation with close links to Gloucestershire County Council would want to support solutions and I intend to discuss the matter more fully with the Western Gateway STB.”

Attachments

Attachment Size
Letter from Gloucestershire County Council, dated 17 June 2019 111.51 KB
Letter to Gloucestershire County Council, dated 22 January 2020 347.32 KB