MORE than 2,000 bikers crossed the Old Severn Bridge yesterday as part of the annual Hoggin' The Bridge event.

Bikers from as far away as Scotland met at the Severn View services on the English side of the bridge at 11am, before departing for Chepstow.

People lined the bridges across the A48 to wave at the riders, many of whom carried flags and banners.

October sunshine glinted on Harley Davidsons and Honda motorbikes lined up along Welsh Street and Moor Street in Chepstow town centre, while crowds enjoyed live bands and hot dogs.

Katie Woods, manager of Weeks Fish and Chip Shop on Thomas Street, said the amount of pedestrians in the town centre had given trade a boost.

"We have been really busy, there has been a steady stream of people since 11am," she said.

"This is the first year we have owned the shop and there is a really good atmosphere."

Last year's event raised £17,500 for Meningitis UK and other local charities, including the National Association for Bikers with a Disability, the South Wales Air Ambulance and Chepstow Street Pastors.

Organiser and former Monmouthshire county councillor Jacqui Sullivan told the Argus: "We haven't had as many people pre-booking this year due to the weather earlier in the week, but we are better organised this year and have still run out of car parking space so we are really pleased.

"I know people are coming from as far away as Scotland and in terms of fundraising I like to think we will do as well if not better than last year."

The event is now held in memory of its founder, Rex Forster, who originally organised a few Harleys to escort sponsored walkers across the finish line, at a charity event crossing the Severn Bridge in 2000.

This soon grew into Hoggin' The Bridge which last year attracted more than 5,000 bikers, and has raised more than £65,000 since 2000.

The total amount raised for charity at this year's event will be announced on October 30.