Following pressure from all quarters to relieve congestion in Monmouth, National Highways has relented and plan to move the zip-merging on the A40 between Wyebridge traffic lights and the Dixton roundabout.

The road was closed on Feb 9 following a landslip near the Leys bends and traffic was diverted on the Old Hereford Road creating problems all of its own through the Buckholt.

The landslip, which has now been re-categorised as a rockfall meant emergency traffic measures were put in place to get the A40 at Leys Bend open for drivers as soon as possible after the rockfall.

One lane of the A40 was reopened on Feb 19 on the eastbound carriageway between Monmouth, west of the A446 Dixton roundabout at the Welsh Border.

Now the merge area will be moved east of the Dixton roundabout on Thursday March 29 and a 40mph speed limit will be in place through the roadworks and a temporary concrete barrier to stop any debris falling into the path of traffic.

An expert in surveying, Monmouth resident Andy Smith said that the landslide itself remains in place and photographs indicate that it may have moved. It has been reported that clearing it away could precipitate further slides.

He believes it is evident that the land above the Eastbound carriageway is unstable over a longer length than the width of the current slide (potentially over as much as several hundred metres). 

National Highways National Highways Regional Director Victoria Lazenby said:

“We acted quickly to get the road open as soon and safely as possible, in response to this emergency incident, but we’ve now had time to review the initial traffic management we put in place. We’ve monitored traffic conditions, listened to feedback and worked with our specialists alongside Monmouth County Council and the Welsh Government.

"We have now agreed alterations to the traffic management which includes moving the cones from past Dixton Roundabout and instead installing a speed restriction. The aim of these changes is to ease the delays at the roundabout and we will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these changes.

“Meanwhile, we have a team of engineering specialists investigating the stability of the hillside and carefully considering the options for carrying out remedial repairs.

“This is a complex situation and we have to be confident that the repairs can be carried out safely and will not further affect the stability of the hillside. We’ll continue to work with the adjoining highway authorities as we develop the remedial works and will provide the community with regular updates.”

A webpage has been set up to provide the latest updates and information about the scheme here: