RESIDENTS and traders say the closure of a slip road has caused traffic chaos in the city.

People in St Julians say traffic is backing up along Caerleon Road after the link from the roundabout for M4 junction 25 to Grove Park Roundabout was shut a week ago.

Welsh Government officials say the closure was sparked by damage to a bridge joint spotted on June 22, but were unable to say when it may reopen.

A councillor in the ward claimed no one was told why the road was shut.

The road is normally used to reach either the town centre, Cwmbran or to go west on the M4 via Malpas – but instead drivers are heading into the city and Malpas via Caerleon Road.

St Julians resident Paul Thomas said to avoid waiting in the traffic motorists were using Orchard Street and Durham Road, where he lives.

He said: "It's bedlam. A friend of mine came from Caerleon to catch a class at Newport Centre and it took her 40 minutes to get there."

Katie Maguire, of Caerleon Road, said drivers haven't allowed her to turn out of her own house, while Darren Thomas of GT Barbers on the same street, said it's taking him half an hour to 40 minutes to get on the motorway.

"I would have thought it's going to affect my business because people are will avoid the area," he said.

Ken Bullock, newsagent on Caerleon Road, said he knew of commuters having to leave an extra 20-30 minutes early or face getting stuck in a queue.

Liberal Democrat councillor Ed Townsend, for St Julians, said he was outraged: "I understand there's a problem with the road and they have to fix it, but what they have done is simply close it without telling anybody.

"That has left the town in complete chaos and that is unacceptable."

A WELSH Government spokeswoman was unable to say when the road would reopen while workers conduct assessments on the repairs required.

She said damage to a bridge joint in a lane of the westbound link road over the Usk was spotted on June 22 which carries the slip road from Junction 25a to Grove Park Roundabout and would be a hazard to motorists, especially motorcyclists.

As a result the lane was closed while the link road between Junction 25 and Grove Park was shut as well to avoid "conflict" with traffic leaving the M4.

The South Wales Trunk Road Agent is currently assessing the work required to repair the bridge joint and would keep emergency services and Newport council informed of works to replace the damaged joint, and information would be made available via Traffic Wales.

She added: "We would ask travellers of this route to take these works into consideration and plan their journeys accordingly."