Alarming crash statistics on the A40 at Raglan highlight what we already know; that the junctions crossing this busy stretch of dual carriageway are dangerous and no longer fit for purpose. The figures from Heddlu Gwent Police were obtained under a Freedom of Information request by a constituent who has given me permission to share them. Since 2017, there have been 107 accidents on the A40 with the following breakdown:

18 non-injury collisions; Abergavenny towards Raglan

31 non-injury collisions; Monmouth towards Raglan

26 non-injury collisions; Raglan towards Abergavenny

32 non-injury collisions; Raglan towards Monmouth

There was also one recorded incident with serious injuries in September 2019 at the Dingestow junction approaching from Groesenon Road involving two vehicles and a lorry. While we have seen a relatively high number of accidents in the past five years, these statistics are not entirely reflective of the true picture – which I and local residents would agree is far worse. At a public meeting organised by Raglan Community Council in June 2022, Welsh Government officials told us there is a long lag in recording accident statistics and only then if there are serious injuries or a fatality. I was involved in attending an accident on the A40 at Raglan over the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend, which required an air ambulance. Yet as of this moment, it is not showing up on the statistics. Effective and permanent measures are clearly needed to tackle persistent dangers on the A40 at Raglan and I have written again to urge the Welsh Government to bring forward its promised road safety study.

Network Rail will shortly be starting work to upgrade the Grade-II listed Chepstow viaduct, which carries the railway over the River Wye. Connecting Monmouthshire and the Forest of Dean, the bridge was designed by Brunel and opened in 1852. It is a vital piece of infrastructure in need of maintenance to ensure passenger and freight trains continue to run over the bridge for years to come. I am told the work will consist of steelwork repairs, waterproofing, masonry repairs to both abutments, strengthening of the west abutment and reconstruction of the east abutment. Contractors are expected to have a presence on site until March 2024 and most of the work will take place during the daytime, Monday to Friday. However, there will be some periods when overnight work is required. There will also be several weeks during summer 2023 when the Severn Estuary line will be closed. I have asked Network Rail to keep me updated as the project progresses and I will communicate any changes to this scheduled work via my column.