Initial figures on the amount of traffic using the Severn Crossing suggests numbers rose significantly after the tolls were scrapped in December.
Highways England figures for the week from Christmas Day show that traffic was up by up to 75% compared to the same day the year before.
That increase was on New Year’s Eve when 8,359 vehicles crossed the Old Severn Bridge westbound, compared to a year earlier when the total was 4,784.
The figures also suggest the increase is greater on the Old Severn Bridge rather than the Second Severn Crossing, now known as the Prince of Wales Bridge.
Anecdotally people in Chepstow report more traffic in their town.
David Dovey, Monmouthshire county councillor for Chepstow, told Walesonline the roundabout where the A48 and A466 intersect near the old Severn Bridge now had long traffic queues in the mornings, which was unlike the situation before the tolls were removed, “The effect of that is that it blocks the town as well,” he said. “There has been for some years too an issue with the air quality on Hardwick Hill in Chepstow.”
A Highways England spokeswoman told the site, “These are not necessarily like-for-like comparisons as factors such as weather, which can affect traffic volumes on the bridges, are not reflected. We also experience around a 4% increase in traffic volumes year on year.”