Gilwern high street open for business

The owners of a family butchers in Gilwern have added to the criticisms of construction giant Costain as road closures linked to the Heads of the Valleys dualling works continue to blight the village.  

Fay Rossini and her partner Chris Bromfield, who run Bromfields Butchers on Main Road, hit out at the “misleading” signs being put up on the high street when the A465 is shut.

They expressed grave concerns about the resulting impact on local businesses during a meeting with Monmouth MP David Davies and Jane Pratt, Conservative candidate for Llanelly Hill, last Wednesday.

“The ‘road ahead closed’ signs give the impression that the rest of the high street is shut when in fact the road is still accessible and all businesses are open,” said Mr Bromfield.

“Customers driving into Gilwern to collect their meat are turning around and going elsewhere as they wrongly assume we must be shut.

“We are losing a lot of trade, which could be easily rectified if Costain simply put up signs saying ‘businesses open as usual’.”

Following pressure from both Mr Davies and Mrs Pratt, signs were in place on Main Road for the weekend’s full closure of the A465 between Gilwern and Brynmawr.

Businesses reported a welcome boost in takings and visitor numbers, although worries remain over ongoing traffic restrictions.  

With Easter heralding the start of the tourist season, Mrs Pratt said it was incumbent on Costain to ensure disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.

“I’m extremely disappointed Costain didn’t act sooner,” she said.

“These signs are absolutely critical when the A465 is shut. Sadly, local businesses lost a lot of trade before this was rectified.”

Mr Davies said Costain had so far “failed to properly look after” high street traders.

“Jane and I will continue to stand up for business owners and fight for the support they deserve while the road building takes place,” he added.