CONTACTLESS payment and other time-saving features are going to be used to relieve delays on the M48 Severn Bridge.

Monmouth Assembly Member Nick Ramsay contacted Highways England last month, pressing for urgent action to be taken following complaints from constituents who were becoming extremely frustrated by long delays at the bridge.

Speaking on Monday (4th July), Mr Ramsay said: “I have been told that the reason for the lane restriction is for essential work to be carried out on the main suspension cable during the summer months when the weather conditions are better. As the access scaffolding is above the safety fence and overhangs the carriageway, a lane closure is an essential safety requirement.

“On the westbound carriageway extra resources are being used to accelerate the work, and all westbound traffic management is due to be removed in mid-August, ahead of 12th September when Network Rail will be closing the Severn Tunnel. An improvement has been made by installing traffic lights at Junction 2 Newhouse roundabout to control eastbound traffic.

“With regard to queues at the toll booths, Highways England say they are making additional investment in marketing the TAG scheme to improve flow rates through the tolls. They are keen to encourage the use of electronic devices used by customers to pre-pay for crossings.

“Contactless payments over all lanes are also being implemented to speed up transaction times for customers who opt to pay using credit or debit cards. Highways England are also working with Severn River Crossings to look at ways of providing information to help customers identify the most appropriate toll lane to help reduce queuing.

“I hope these measures will be effective in improving the situation at the Old Severn Bridge and that they will be put in place very soon.”