As you can imagine, I have been inundated with concerns surrounding the proposals to close the Wye Bridge for 5 weeks, 24 hours a day, starting in October.

This will particularly affect the residents of Wyesham, a ward that is serviced solely by this bridge. This closure will affect many different areas of people’s lives, curtailing businesses, restricting access to health and social care, preventing non blue light services, schools, childcare and many other aspects.

The alternative route that residents would be expected to take will be almost 30 miles, a journey that is not only excessive but also restrictive for residents who don’t have access to a car or any other private vehicle.

I have written to the Deputy Minister of Climate Change in order to ensure that the Welsh Government is content with the arrangements that Monmouthshire County Council is putting in place to help mitigate the many concerns that I and many residents have.

I am especially concerned that, to date, residents have not been consulted or engaged with directly. This is simply appalling.

I have also written to the Head of Placemaking, Highways and Flooding at Monmouthshire County Council asking for an update on the situation and if any alternative methods of carrying out the work were considered such as working on one lane at a time with temporary weight restrictions enabling light local traffic to pass.

None of the residents I have had contact with dispute the fact that this work is needed. But I have been incredibly disappointed by the lack of communication and engagement that Monmouthshire County Council has had with those affected and the frankly appalling lack of planning to minimise the disruption to people’s lives and businesses.

I have raised this issue in a letter to Councillor Catrin Maby, the Cabinet Member for Climate Change, expressing my disappointment at the lack of engagement. I have asked whether there will be support for local businesses in Wyesham that have been affected by this closure and have asked for an update as to how the Cabinet views this situation and whether or not they are content with the levels of engagement that they have had with residents.

Ultimately, residents deserve better communication and engagement when it comes to the closure of infrastructure particularly when it would have such a drastic impact on people’s lives.