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Journey Times: Chepstow to Gloucestershire

Volume 655: debated on Wednesday 27 February 2019

7. What recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on plans to reduce journey times between Chepstow and Gloucestershire. (909429)

We have regular discussions with the Welsh Government about cross-border roads, including the proposed A48 bypass around Chepstow. We know that a bypass could improve journey times between Chepstow and Gloucestershire as well as reduce air pollution, and we look forward to working with the Welsh Government to deliver this vital piece of infrastructure.

There are times when a drive through Chepstow resembles the rush hour in Lagos or Mexico City. Will Ministers therefore do everything that they can to encourage the local authorities in Gloucester, the Welsh Government and the Department for Transport to work with Monmouthshire council to deliver that bypass as soon as possible?

There is no greater champion and voice for Chepstow than my hon. Friend. The Government are dedicated to improving transport infrastructure across Wales, for instance by providing a new relief road. We have abolished the tolls over the Severn, and I know from personal experience on Saturday that Chepstow could do with a bypass.

Order. The hon. Gentleman must resume his seat. He is a fine man and Slough is a very good place, but it is a long way from Chepstow or Gloucestershire. If the inquiry consists of one sentence and relates either to Chepstow or to Gloucestershire, I will hear it. If it is about Slough, he must remain seated. Blurt it out, man.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. The western rail link to Heathrow will significantly reduce the journey time between Wales and the airport. The Government committed themselves to the link in 2012. When will it finally be built?

The hon. Gentleman—who has been incredibly creative in getting his question in under Chepstow—will be pleased to hear that we are continuing to engage with the Department for Transport on this vital project.