Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Tory Chepstow bypass motion voted down in the Senedd

20 Jun 2024 4 minute read
Natasha Asghar MS by Senedd Cymru Welsh Parliament

Emily Price

The Welsh Conservatives have been voted down in a Senedd debate calling on the Welsh Government to deliver a Chepstow bypass.

Campaigners and locals have been fighting for a bypass for several years to alleviate traffic and improve air quality.

Earlier this year, Gloucestershire County Council announced it would put half of its £1m major infrastructure budget towards exploring such a scheme.

Monmouthshire County Council have also agreed to support the joint study to identify possible solutions for Chepstow.

They asked the UK Government for consent to include the proposed study within the scope of their allocated Levelling Up Funding announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement.

Important infrastructure

On Wednesday (June 20) the Welsh Tories proposed that the Welsh Government work with the UK Government, Monmouthshire County Council and Gloucestershire County Council to deliver a Chepstow bypass.

Shadow Transport Minister Natasha Asghar said the situation in Chepstow had “gone on far too long”.

Speaking in the Chamber she said: “Chepstow needs and deserves a bypass. The will to make this happen is there in certain quarters. I certainly can’t deny it. But we need absolutely everyone to be on board and work together to build this incredibly important piece of infrastructure.”

Plaid Cymru tabled amendments to the motion to focus on “wider issues” in Wales’ transport network.

The party called for the Welsh Government to deliver a third Menai crossing as well as bypasses in Llandeilo and Chepstow.

HS2

The also called on the next UK Government to deliver a fair funding settlement for Wales, and the £4 billion in consequentials owed from HS2.

Plaid Cymru MS Peredur Owen Griffiths said: “Infrastructure projects must be more than just top-down decisions, they need to reflect the voices and needs of the communities that they intend to serve.”

Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport, Ken Skates said the idea of a Chepstow bypass “predates devolution”.

But he argued that in order to solve congestion issues, Chepstow would need an “integrated, attractive and sustainable” transport system.

During the debate, Mr Skates committed to providing funding to Transport for Wales to take forward a study and identify measures to improve transport in and around the town.

‘Achievable’

Tory MS Tom Giffard said that locals in Chepstow wouldn’t agree with the contributions to the debate made by Labour Senedd members.

He said: “We’ve already heard that these proposals are achievable. This bypass is achievable, it was being delivered by a Conservative-led Monmouthshire County Council, and has ground to a halt with the election of a Labour one.”

During Mr Giffard’s time on the floor the Welsh Conservatives were reprimanded for appearing to plug a Tory Monmouthshire general election candidate.

In an intervention, Leader of the Welsh Tory Senedd Group Andrew RT Davies said: “It’s vitally important that the incumbent Member of Parliament, David TC Davies, is returned after this election, so that Chepstow doesn’t grind to a halt.”

The Deputy Presiding Officer replied: “Can I remind all Members we are not electoral broadcasts here – we are here to debate the issue of the Chepstow bypass, and it’s important we discuss those issues.”

‘Crucial’

Neither the original motion tabled by the Welsh Tories nor amendments tabled by Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru were agreed.

Speaking after the debate, the Shadow Transport Minister said: “Bypasses play a crucial role in supporting local economies and easing congestion. It is deeply regretful that we still don’t have a bypass in Chepstow.

“Labour’s anti-road building agenda and 20mph speed limits are frustrating commuters who are simply trying to get from A to B.

“In the Senedd today, I called for the Welsh Government to take action in delivering a Chepstow bypass. Unfortunately, they chose to continue their war on motorists and voted against plans for a Chepstow Bypass.”

Welsh Conservative Senedd Member for Monmouth, Peter Fox said: “Chepstow desperately needs a bypass, and I welcome the UK Government’s commitment to provide funding to Monmouthshire County Council to develop plans for a Chepstow bypass.

“I am disappointed that Labour MSs voted against our motion, their short sightedness continues to stifle economic growth in Wales.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Welsh Patriot
Welsh Patriot
24 days ago

Never mind about the Chepstow Bypass, why do I have to drive through England to get from South to North Wales in a timely manner?
The WG won’t build any new roads here, due to the climate emergency but are happy to let Welsh motorists and lorries clog up Hereford.
Same goes for the estimated 2 million people from South Wales that use Bristol Airport.

Paul ap Gareth
Paul ap Gareth
24 days ago
Reply to  Welsh Patriot

On an interesting note, Hereford was a Welsh town when it was created. The border was moved afterwards.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
24 days ago

I previously remarked, with my lorry driver hat on, that Chepstow does need a bypass. However, this has made clear to me far from giving a toss about the people of Cas-Gwent, this is just a contrived electioneering gang up on the Welsh government with the myth of ‘Levelling Up’ funding being invoked. Also, what is the point in Tories advocating for a bypass when they are quite happy to mislead the public into thinking it will be subject to a ‘blanket’ 20mph speed limit?

John Ellis
John Ellis
24 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

I incline towards the view that the Welsh government has been overly ‘fundamentalist’ in its near-total opposition to new road construction, because very clearly there are particular places which absolutely merit a by-pass in contemporary traffic conditions. Chepstow’s arguably one, and I’d add the village of Llanbedr, just south of Harlech in Ardudwy.

But I agree wholly with your suggestion that in proposing this motion the Tory opposition are attempting ‘a contrived electioneering gang-up’. It’s more or less all that they do, whether in election season or out of it.

Last edited 24 days ago by John Ellis

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.