From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
|From:||King's Thorn (SO496323)|
|To:||Chepstow (M48 J2) (ST534916)|
|Length:||30 miles (48.3 km)|
|Meets:||A40, A48, M4|
|Chepstow • Hereford • Monmouth •|
|Route outline (key)|
Route: Kings Thorn - Chepstow
The A466 runs along or near the south east corner of Wales, and crosses the border with England several times, passing several locations of historic importance on the way.
Kings's Thorn - Severn Bridge
It starts at the A49 a few miles south of Hereford then progresses down to Monmouth where it crosses the dual carriageway which is the combined might of the A40 (Ross, M50, Brecon) and the A449 (Newport, M4, Worcester). Then it winds around the edge of the Forest of Dean and crosses and recrosses the River Wye. It passes through Tintern (where the ruined Abbey is) and then meets the A48 in Chepstow. A nice big new bit of the A466 then continues down to the M48 (old M4) at jcn 2 (right next to the Severn Bridge).
The A466 originally ran along Welsh Road in Chepstow to terminate on the High Street (then the A48). By the 1940s, a spur had been created along St Lawrence Road. When the Severn Bridge opened in 1966, this spur was extended down to meet the new motorway.
Importance (Past and Present)
Not an immensely important road, in fact the what with the A40 at the top, and the M4 at the bottom with the A449 connecting the two, the A466 is a best a local route. It is of course an important tourist route, judging by the coaches full of blue rinsed trouser suits you see careering around the bends.
a) Tintern Abbey in Tintern is really an amazing sight. This is where the tourists are going.
b) The ruined church on the hill over looking Tintern.
c) The parts of the road cut into rock with over hanging trees. Gorgeous.
d) Tintern Station. Ancient disused railway that is now a footpath. The station buildings are all renovated.
e) The "Diversion that became the actual road" outside of Tintern. See below.
Most interesting thing
A few miles south of Tintern, the road runs very close to the cliff edge, with the River Wye far down below. At one point in the 70s, a bit of it fell over the side. A convenient lay by on the other side of the road was pressed into temporary service. A car's width of new road was built where the original road was, but was never finished, and then the usual piles of gravel appeared. Meanwhile, the Diversion signs stayed, but the layby was gradually disintegrating. Every time we went down there, the signs were older and more covered in green stuff, and the layby was more crumbly. Then one day, the signs were gone. When we got to the layby, we found it had been resurfaced and had now become the actual road. In 1991, I went there in my Mini Clubman Estate to look at it again. The little bit of "new road" that was built was where I parked. I wandered about and looked at the gravel, and over the side at the bits that had gone. We came to the conclusion (or heard) that the contractor had gone bust, but I am not sure if this is true. Anyone know?
The A466 originally ended at Chepstow, but as the M4 passed about a mile to the south, it was common sense to extend it down to meet it.
Suggested Links and Destinations from the A466
What choice! One side is the Forest of Dean, which is lovely. The other side you have Devauden and Trelleck and the hills. Then there's Tintern. Chepstow is nice as well. Monmouth has loads of history and then there's the original Severn Bridge to the extreme south linking to the M5 and West Wales.
Original Author(s): Brad Jackson