THE closure of Chepstow High Street has proven to be a contentious issue among residents, with one branding it "an accident waiting to happen".

The town's High Street has been closed during lockdown - from the medieval arch at the top, to Beaufort Square at the bottom.

Some residents feel this continued closure is adding to the town's well-known struggles with congestion.

With that in mind, we asked residents for their views on the closure of the High Street, and there was no shortage of feedback.

Robert Powell said a changeable system of closure is the answer, and proposes the installation of rising bollards at the top and bottom of the High Street.

"Then we can close and open it whenever required," he said.

Shelley Herniman warned that the street doesn't see enough footfall to warrant being pedestrianised.

"Trying to get in and out of Chepstow for work is ridiculous in the mornings," she said.

"If an accident happens, our small town ends up gridlocked."

She also proposed rising bollards, overseen by the police.

"If an accident happens town can be opened up for diversion," she said.

"Maybe pedestrianise [from] 9.30am until 2.30pm with school traffic access.

"We’ve built houses but no roads, we have built houses but no extra doctors or schools."


Kim Waites said the closure of the High Street had a knock-on effect in adjoining Moor Street.

She branded the situation "an accident waiting to happen".

"The traffic on Moor Street just can’t handle it," she said.

Deborah Walker said: "As the need for social distancing recedes, I think the High Street should be reopened for traffic.

"There is not enough footfall (or open shops) on the street to justify permanent pedestrianisation and the pavements are already very generous in width.

"The recent accident that closed the A48, near Bulwark Road turn-off, demonstrated the impact of the high street closure on traffic - carnage."

Malcolm Taylor simply suggested that planners at Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) must "live in cuckoo land".

Guy Hamilton said another issue was the removal of the pedestrian crossing at the bottom of the street.

He said: "Removing the pelican crossing has created a more dangerous crossing (especially for people with mobility or sight issues) and, at the very least, zebra crossing lines need to be painted there.

"Traffic coming off the A48 has very little warning that they are entering a pedestrian-priority zone."

However, he said that a partial pedestrianisation of the High Street is preferable. .

"Perhaps a one-way system," he said.

"So that the environment for shoppers and businesses can be improved, but local traffic can still use it."

Some have welcomed the closure, with Susan Williams highlighting the "more relaxed feeling and no worry of traffic for mums with little ones".

"As a pedestrian not a driver, personally I prefer the High Street shut," she said.

Andrea Godfrey agreed, saying: "I like the idea of a car-free zone for town. "MCC probably hope to attract people to local shops by making it more pleasant etc.

"A lot of us are able to walk into town - plenty of disabled car park spaces for those unable to."

However, she said a permanent solution to the traffic problems is needed, and that with "all the new commuter houses going up" reopening the High Street is "just a band aid".