WALES’ new transport secretary has been invited to visit a notorious Chepstow bottleneck to help find a solution to the town’s congestion. 

David Davies MP has written to Ken Skates asking him to attend a site meeting at Highbeech roundabout, which often sees motorists stuck in long queues during peak times. 

The problem has existed for many years. Yet despite several reviews and studies, the Welsh Government withheld funding in 2022 to take improvements at Highbeech to the next stage – stating the scheme was “not considered urgent”. 

A further hammer blow was dealt in February 2023 when the Welsh Government announced a ban on all new road building projects.

 However, transport secretary Ken Skates – who has taken over from Lee Waters in new First Minister Vaughan Gething’s cabinet - has indicated this may change under his tenure. 

Mr Davies has supported the suggestion of a yellow box junction, put forward by residents, to help alleviate congestion and allow traffic clear access to cross Highbeech roundabout. But the request fell on deaf ears. 

He joined Mount Pleasant ward councillor Paul Pavia and Dr Sue Kingdom, secretary of Chepstow Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, on Friday (5 April) to discuss the traffic problems continuing to blight the town. 

“There is significant congestion at Highbeech roundabout where cross-border traffic merges, the impact of which is substantial as both residents and visitors are deciding to avoid Chepstow town centre and neighbouring areas,” said Mr Davies. 

“While the Welsh Government has undertaken several reviews at Highbeech, no further progress has been made and the traffic issues are continuing to deteriorate to the detriment of all. 

“The clear and obvious solution would be a Chepstow bypass but unless there is a substantial shift in Welsh Government policy, I fear this will continue to be rejected despite the obvious benefits it would bring. 

“Given his predecessor Lee Waters visited the site previously, I have extended a formal invitation to Ken Skates to come to Chepstow and see the problem at Highbeech roundabout first hand so we can discuss a tangible way forward that will result in real improvements.”