A disappointing intervention from Sustrans has thrown proposals to address significant community fears about safety on the A40 at Raglan into doubt.

Monmouthshire County Council wants to stop traffic coming from Raglan village on Monmouth Road and crossing the busy dual carriageway to continue towards the A449 interchange, which I support.

This accident blackspot is unfit for purpose, with long-standing calls for much needed safety improvements. But Sustrans has said that prohibiting vehicles from turning right would affect users of a cycle route which follows Monmouth Road and crosses the A40 at this location.

The council has therefore decided not to proceed with the prohibition of right turn order pending further discussions with Welsh Government trunk road officials and Sustrans. What I find particularly frustrating is the council has previously acknowledged this is “the only step” it can take to make progress in the short term while we wait for the Welsh Government to complete its promised A40 road safety review.

The decision is deeply discouraging to say the least and questions are understandably being asked as to why the road has been included in a Sustrans route. It is clearly dangerous for motorists, let alone cyclists and pedestrians. I have expressed my concern to the council and asked for full reconsideration.

The Conservative Party in Monmouthshire has lost a hugely influential member. Brian Hood MBE was a formidable politician who dedicated 25 years of his life to public service.

A former councillor and chair of Monmouthshire County Council, Brian proudly represented the Llanover ward – where he was widely known and respected.

He was a kind and selfless man, with a particular passion in social work to help families and those in need. Everyone at Monmouth Conservative Association was saddened to hear Brian had passed away. I only heard from him a short time ago and he will be very much missed. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

In a great show of support for the British Army, there was a fantastic turn out on Saturday for the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) freedom of Monmouth parade. I was honoured to attend this special occasion alongside HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

The war in Ukraine reminds us that we live in a dangerous world and the regiment has contributed so much to our safety, with many members having served on the front line over the years. We owe an ongoing debt of gratitude to the servicemen and women who protect us.