A Mitchel Troy United Community Councillor is calling for the county council to bring back a plan to make a local collision blackspot safe.
Cllr Julian Dyer has asked county councillors Richard John and Jayne McKenna to raise the issue again with the county council to look again at closing off the right hand turn from the top of Monmouth Road.
Following an impassioned plea by Cllr McKenna last year, a proposal was carried forward to close off the right turn out of Raglan village to ensure all vehicular traffic leaving the top end of Monmouth Road would have to turn left and proceed to the lower roundabout in order to head east on the dual carriageway.
But the National Cycle Network Agency, Sustrans, objected to the plan saying the junction had been identified as a cycle route and said it would affect users of the Sustrans cycle route which follows Monmouth Road and crosses the A40 at this location.
They claimed their cyclist members would be subjected to unacceptable levels of danger by having to travel up and down the bypass
Cllr Dyer said this has resulted in no action being taken so far.
“The objection was of course a red herring because any cyclists would still be able to dismount and walk across the junction - which I think would in any case be safer than pedalling across it” he added.
He went on to point out that now the Welsh Assembly has imposed a (temporary) 50 mph speed limit on the Raglan bypass “I feel the time is right for the County Council to go ahead with its earlier plan to close off the right hand turn from the top of Monmouth Road”.
The council had wanted to introduce a no right turn order to stop vehicles turning right from Monmouth Road – crossing two lanes of traffic – onto the A40 near to its interchange with the A449 at Raglan. The council said that was the only restriction it could introduce as the trunk road is the responsibility of the government.
The no right turn order was due to be introduced this year, but was put on hold in March due to discussions between the council, Welsh Government and cycling body Sustrans – disappointing Raglan Community Council.
The community council has highlighted numerous crashes in recent years, including a fatal collision which claimed the life of a cyclist in 2022.
Raglan’s county councillor Penny Jones asked for an update on the road safety survey at Monmouthshire County Council’s most recent meeting and was told by the council’s cabinet member with responsibility for highways, Catrin Maby, the Welsh Government anticipates completing it by the end of this financial year.
The Labour councillor said: “I understand the Welsh Government intend to temporarily reduce the speed limit on the A40 at Raglan also by the end of this financial year and anticipate the safety survey will also influence any permanent decision to reduce the speed limit along this section of the A40 which I would certainly support.”
Cllr Richard John said, “Residents have been waiting for Welsh Government to undertake this road safety review for years, so it is welcome to get confirmation that it will be concluded by the end of March 2024.
“While we support a speed reduction to 50mph between the Raglan roundabout and the A449, the fact this has been confirmed before the road safety review does beg the question why couldn’t this have been done much sooner at this known accident blackspot?”
Cllr Jayne McKenna added, “Residents are frustrated that this has taken so long and the temporary limit on the much safer Abergavenny to Raglan stretch of the A40 but leaving the Raglan bypass at 70mph has annoyed a lot of people.
“We hope this review can be concluded as quickly as possible with clear recommendations to make this junction safer for all road users. We’ll continue to put pressure on Welsh Government and the County Council to take this issue seriously.”
Conservative Cllr Jones said the issue had been highlighted as the council’s passenger transport unit had included the “dangerous crossing” on school bus routes this term.
She said: “there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel.” See Beacon letters for an update from Sustrans