RESIDENTS of Forge Mews have spoken to the Argus after being advised by Newport City Council to leave their homes temporarily after the Old Bassaleg Bridge was closed on Friday.

The bridge was closed because of fears that it may collapse under it’s own weight, so no pedestrians or vehicles are allowed over it.

The council have ‘strongly advised’ residents of Forge Mews to move into suitable temporary accommodation because as things stand, emergency services are unable to access the road.

They have taken the decision to close the bridge to both vehicles and pedestrians on safety grounds.

South Wales Argus:

Residents of Forge Mews have been advised to move to temporary accommodation

The council have said it is a serious situation and assess that the bridge poses too great a risk to remain open.

Accommodation in Cardiff? You’re having a laugh!

Residents were shocked at how quickly the road was closed and at the advice to temporarily move – especially as they claim the temporary accommodation offered is in Cardiff.

Alison Williams, who lives in Forge Mews, said: “It has been total chaos on this street.


“We’ve all been told different schedules – I was told it would take weeks to sort and my neighbours were told it would take months.

“Accommodation in Cardiff? You’re having a laugh!

“I work in Newport, so I’m supposed to get from Cardiff to go to work then from Newport to Cardiff to get some sleep?

South Wales Argus:

An access point is being built but residents say it intrudes on to private property

“This isn’t good for people with pets, I’ve got two kittens so I’m not going anywhere.”

The only way to and from Forge Mews is a long and winding footpath – there is currently no way for cars to get on to the road.

The footpath is difficult for anybody wheeling anything, for example a pushchair, and there is no disabled access.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, was worried about how to proceed following the advice to leave the street.

“I don't know what to do at the moment, it was a lot of information to take on and I didn’t really process anything,” said the resident.

South Wales Argus:

The bridge is the only way that cars were able to access Forge Mews

“Going over the footbridge is fine for me, but I have two babies that I take around in a double buggy – how am I supposed to get that up there?

“There are little things like bin collections, they said ‘we’ll give you extra carrier bags’, that's great but then what about like nappy bags?

“How can you tell me what my appropriate accommodation is when you don't know my circumstances?”

A temporary access point is being built at the end of the road away from the Old Bassaleg Bridge and should be finished by Tuesday, August 10.

This in itself has caused some issues as to create this access point council workers have had to cut down trees and remove fence wall panels.

Residents at the end of the road are not able to use their parking spaces and were surprised that they were not asked for permission before the council began their work – though understand that it is a necessary measure.


One resident is puzzled as to where they are supposed to park their car now.

“I've had to park up by the pub, but I'm concerned about that because obviously it invalidates your insurance,” the resident said.

“They (the council) didn't ask any permission from us to do it (create the access point).

“On the other hand, what else can they do?”

Tony Brooks, another resident, said: “There has been a sign up there over a week or so, saying the bridge footpath will be closed for three days, starting on the eighth.

“But yesterday we got two hours notice of the extent of what was happening.

“It's going to be inconvenient, but there's obviously a problem and if there was a better solution to it I'm sure the council would have thought of it.”

Traffic management officers are on site over the weekend to ensure there is no access over the bridge into Forge Mews.

Pedestrian access from Park View onto Caerphilly Road and into Bassaleg, using the footbridge over the A467, will also be prohibited.

Remedial work will commence on the Old Bassaleg Bridge as soon as possible.

Interim access arrangements are also being explored.