A WINDING road popular with motorcyclists is still dangerous, according to residents, despite police action and traffic-calming measures.

The B4235, also known as the Usk Road, stretches through the countryside between Chepstow and Usk, and has been the site of a number of serious crashes over the past decade.

As reported in the Free Press last week, the most recent crash on the B4235 happened on Sunday, June 30. A motorcyclist had to be airlifted to hospital after suffering leg injuries in the crash, which involved a BMW car.

A resident who saw the aftermath of that crash said the car's occupants had been badly shaken up. He said he – like other residents who live near the B4235 – does not feel safe on the road.

"You hear a bang, and it's a noise you've been waiting for," he said of the number of crashes. "At weekends it's a motorbike playground."

The resident, who asked not to be named, said locals were used to the B4235's many twists and turns, but that on the weekends the road attracted a lot of motorcyclists, many of whom were unfamiliar with the road.

"It wasn't until 2015 that we got double-white lines and a [40 mph] speed limit in place, following heavy campaigning after the deaths of two motorcyclists on the same day," he said.

There had been an improvement since then, he added, but he believes more could be done to prevent crashes on the B4235.

"Prevention has to be better than response," he said.


There have been a number of crashes on the B4235 over the past decade, some of them fatal.These include:

A motorcyclist who needed hospital treatment for wrist injuries in April this year, following a crash with a Mini Cooper.

A man who was left in a critical condition in May 2016 when his motorcycle crashed. No other vehicle was involved, according to the police at the time.

A one-car crash near Usk in March 2016, in which a female driver was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

A two-car collision near the Hunstman Hotel in February 2016, in which one of the cars "burst into flames", according to an eyewitness.

A car overturning near the Carpenters Arms in Mynydd-bach in January 2016. No injuries were reported.

Two fatal crashes on the same day in September 2010. In both cases, police said motorcyclists had hit cars on the opposite sides of the road. Both riders died.

The chairman of Shirenewton Community Council, Philip Butterworth, said it was a matter of education, as well as enforcing the rules of the road.

"We're doing the best we can to try and educate [motorcycle] riders about this dangerous stretch of road," he said. "It's really down to a lack of knowledge, sometimes, and going around a corner too quickly.

"We're trying to keep things as sensible as possible. We want people to treat the road with a bit of respect."

Sergeant Jason Williams, of Gwent Police and GoSafe, said the B4235 was one of several roads in Gwent which was the focus of the seasonal Operation Darwen – a national campaign aimed at safeguarding bikers.

He said GoSafe regularly patrolled the B4235 with camera vans, and police officers were reaching out to local bikers to advise them on careful driving.

"We would urge all road users to drive carefully, responsibly and within the limits of the law," Sgt Williams said.

"Please be courteous to other road users and follow the Highway Code, so we can all enjoy safe roads in Gwent."