Work to remove the toll booths on the English side of the M48 Severn Bridge has resulted in chaotic scenes in Chepstow this week.

The border town was brought to a standstill during the Tuesday and Wednesday morning rush hours as a result of the ongoing work.

From Monday, February 11 until Monday, April 15 there will be a diversion in place on the M48 eastbound at Junction 2.


Drivers in Chepstow are used to congestion and delays, but for many the gridlock this week has proved to be some of the worst in memory, as traffic queuing at the M48 roundabout caused a domino effect on roads in the town centre and beyond.

Angry motorists took to social media to vent their frustration at the delays which havebeen caused by the toll removal.

A spokeswoman for Highways England said: "We are aware that the Severn tolls decommissioning work on the M48 resulted in significant delays in the Chepstow area this morning and we would like to apologise to drivers for the disruption and any inconvenience caused.

"The delays occurred following the closure of  a lane on the eastbound carriageway of the M48 Severn Bridge, which was put in place to allow work on the central reservation to be undertaken safely."

She added: "We will continue to monitor the situation closely over the coming days and do everything we can to minimise disruption."

Chepstow’s traffic woes span decades, with the pros and cons of the much-talked about bypass still being debated by residents and politicians.

But this week's gridlock has been even worse than the chronic congestion which regularly grips the town.

South Wales Argus: A traffic map of Chepstow at 9am on Wednesday, showing gridlock (red areas) stretching from M48 J2 back to Sedbury.A traffic map of Chepstow at 9am on Wednesday, showing gridlock (red areas) stretching from M48 J2 back to Sedbury.

David Trevelyan, who lives in Tutshill, spoke to the Argus on Tuesday. He said: “I was working from home this morning, which was lucky, but I had to drop the kids off at school.

“It took 25 minutes to drive half a mile. In hindsight, I would have walked.”

Mr Trevelyan said when his wife saw how bad the traffic was, she opted to avoid driving through Chepstow on her commute to Cheltenham.

“She turned around and went through the Forest of Dean, instead of going on the motorway,” he said.

“She’d actually got to Gloucester before some people who live in Chepstow had got out of the town.

“It’s been absolutely mad this morning. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this bad without an accident [causing the traffic jams].”

Mr Trevelyan said he returned from the school run by travelling through smaller back roads, but that route too was “pretty hairy” because of some “frustrated” commuters racing through as they tried to find another way around the gridlock.

County councillor Armand Watts (Thornwell ward) told the Argus he had been contacted by several constituents who were angry about the traffic jams.

“I’ve never seen it as bad as this,” Cllr Watts said. “Even on the Wyedean side there was traffic backed up for two miles.

“I couldn’t even take the kids to school. It’s lucky it was a fine day.”