WE LIVE in uncertain times, with the whole of Wales currently under increased coronavirus restrictions as a result of the circuit-breaker lockdown.

However, even with less traffic on the roads, certain spots across the region are, according to Argus readers, best avoided if you want to get where you're going on time.

We asked you for your views on the worst bottlenecks across Gwent, here are a few of your suggestions.

Brynglas Tunnels

South Wales Argus:

Unsurprisingly, this short stretch of the M4 attracted the most comments.

Traffic heading west on the motorway, through the tunnels, is dropped down from 70mph to 50 - sometimes further if the traffic is especially bad.

There is also the issue of the road becoming two lanes as opposed to three.

Many commenters called for an alternative route around the area.

Mark Counsell wrote: "There’s a pretty bad bottleneck on the M4, the tunnels. Relief road would be nice."

Unfortunately for Mr Counsell, it doesn't look like the proposed M$ Relief Road will be coming any time soon, despite the scheme apparently attracting the support of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

However, The Welsh Government said the project was "not a matter for the Prime Minister" and "is entirely a matter for Wales, and the decision has been made".


M4 Junction 23 (Magor)

South Wales Argus:

This usually free-flowing motorway junction can become gridlocked should the M48 Severn Bridge be closed by bad weather, roadworks or a collision.

Such closures seem to have become more frequent during lockdown, according to Chepstow resident Michael Peters, who branded the diversion via Junction 23 a "nightmare".

Those travelling over from England to Chepstow or the Wye Valley have to instead use the Prince of Wales Bridge, file off at Magor Services in a single lane before doubling back to the M48.

This can have knock-on effects on traffic trying to reach Newport and beyond as queues often stretch back up onto the M4.

In the rare occurrence of the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge being closed eastbound, Junction 23 also becomes a bottleneck.

Bulwark Corner, Chepstow

South Wales Argus:

This is a pet peeve of this reporter's, hailing from Chepstow, and it seems I'm not the only one.

Michael Peters, among others, also mentioned this bottleneck.

"You're sat there for ages, longer if you're wanting to head down towards town," he said.

There have been calls for traffic lights at the junction - halfway up Hardwick Hill - for years.

However, the ordeal of negotiating the narrow street has eased slightly in recent years as the massive lorries carrying steel girders up from the bottom of town - accompanied by police escort - now no longer close the entire hill.

Cardiff Road, Newport

South Wales Argus:

The western end of Cardiff Road, towards Duffryn and the Tredegar House roundabout, often catches out Angela Greene from Newport.

She said that trying to get to work in the mornings - both before lockdown and sometimes since - has resulted in being sat on Cardiff Road "for what seems like ages".

She said that the traffic can get so bad that it backs up over Gaer Hill.

Ms Greene said that she usually tries to find alternative routes but sometimes ends up stuck on Cardiff Road after "driving on autopilot early in the morning".

Crumlin, A467

South Wales Argus:

This bottleneck, and a nearby one at Hafodyrynys just up the road, were an annoyance to those travelling up towards Abertillery and beyond, as well as in the other direction.

At peak times, according to Abertillery resident Wayne Sharp, the lights at Crumlin can "back right up".

He said that, as it's a single carriageway road for the most part, long queues can form which isn't helped by the bottlenecks at Crumlin and Hafodyrynys.

The latter was also mentioned by Mark Counsell as being a "bad bottleneck".

Is there a bottleneck on the roads near you which you make every effort to avoid? Let us know on the South East Wales Traffic & Travel Facebook group.