THE Welsh Government is unlikely to respond to calls for a new bridge in Llanellen, near Abergavenny, despite safety concerns raised by local AM Nick Ramsay.

Mr Ramsay had written to the Welsh transport minister, Ken Skates, passing on his constituents' concerns that the old bridge was "no longer suited to current levels of traffic".

The hump-backed bridge, on the A4042, is too narrow to allow larger vehicles to pass side-by-side in the middle. As they approach the bridge, drivers are warned by road signs to expect oncoming traffic in the middle of the road.

Mr Ramsay said a number of accidents on the bridge, coupled with occasional heavy flooding in the village, had prompted him to ask the Welsh Government to give priority to a new bridge in Llanellen.

But Mr Skates, responding to that request this week, said in a letter that "replacement of the existing bridge is not considered a feasible option, as it is a Grade II listed structure."

The transport minister also said providing a new bridge was unfeasible "due to the need to acquire land and properties and concerns that it may affect the visual footprint of the existing bridge".

Mr Skates said the Welsh Government had discussed previously, with heritage organisation CADW and Monmouthshire County Council, about modifying the bridge, but had been advised that such work would not be supported by those organisations because of the bridge "being listed and having special interest as an elegant structure".

The Welsh Government said there had been no personal injury collisions recorded on the bridge in the past five years.

Reacting to the minister's comment, Mr Ramsay said: “Clearly the Welsh Government does not have details of accidents occurring at the bridge this year, and which concerned constituents have reported to me.

“The fact remains that this picturesque old bridge is no longer suited to current levels of traffic and the size of vehicles on the road today.

"It’s a shame that we may well have to wait for a really serious accident at this location before any improvements are considered further.”