A40 Leys Bend Rockfall

A rockfall in early 2024 raised concern about the long-term stability of the hillside and caused damage to the carriageway.

Start date February 2024
End date TBC
Cost TBC

Latest updates

  • 03 May 2024

    Update: proposals for debris removal

    Traffic management specialists have drawn up four options which will provide a safe working space on the A40 at Leys Bend for roadworkers to remove the debris and for more detailed surveys to be carried out on the embankment.

    One lane is currently closed on the eastbound carriageway with a temporary concrete barrier in place to stop any further rocks falling into the path of traffic.

    The four options are:

    • Four full weekend closures of the A40 during the school holidays this summer
    • A contraflow reducing the road to one lane in each direction, beginning in September and remaining in place until mid October, with some lane and overnight closures in August and October
    • Four full weekend closures in September, avoiding the main summer holiday period
    • A contraflow put in place in October, after the summer break, which will remain until early November with some overnight closures in September and November.

    Potential diversion routes during the closures are also being considered, all of which aim to reroute the traffic away from Monmouth.

    Keen to strike a balance between removing the debris as safely and as soon as possible while also minimising disruption to motorists travelling along this busy route, our team is gathering feedback from key stakeholders (including the local authorities) to make sure we choose the option that will best suit drivers and the local community.

  • 29 April 2024

    Update: development of our programme and diversion route

    Our Traffic Management specialist has designed a new proposed diversion route which aims to keep traffic away from the Monmouth area during closures. HGVs will be re-routed via the M4 and M5 and the A466 will not be signed as a diversion route for any vehicle.

    The principal contractor has now produced an initial programme for the scheme. There are currently two delivery options. Both options include overnight closures, which are currently programmed to start in June. Our preferred option is to use contraflow to keep traffic moving in both directions on the A40. The second option is to use weekend closures to carry out the work if contraflow is not possible.

    We're aware of the importance of tourism in Monmouth over summer and have therefore asked our contractor to rereview the programme with this in mind to mitigate the disruption that this would cause in the local and wider area.

    We're expecting revised options for the programme shortly, and we'll then have a short period of consultation on both the programme and the diversion route.

    Confirmed dates for closures will be communicated as soon as possible once the programme has been agreed.

  • 22 April 2024

    Update: upcoming survey work

    Our Principal Contractor has developed a draft programme based on potential solutions put together by our designer. Towards the end of May, we’ll begin surveying the contraflow crossing points to establish if any work is needed to enable us to install a contraflow system. This will allow time for us to procure a subcontractor, book road space, and avoids other closures on the A40 near Monmouth. Dates for this work may be subject to change due to the ongoing road works in Monmouth. The survey works are likely to be carried out overnight, using a full closure of the eastbound carriageway and a lane closure on the westbound carriageway. We’ll provide information on when this will happen once dates have been confirmed.

    Road closures will be communicated as soon as possible once road space bookings have been made. We’re working hard to develop a signage strategy to reroute drivers away from Monmouth during periods of closures.

    We’re also working with councillors and authorities to assess the local diversion route and explore alternative routes which have been used in the past.

    We’ll need to clear the vegetation on the embankment around the rockfall site and potentially further along depending on the outcome of the current geology surveys. We cannot confirm dates or the extent of the vegetation clearance yet, but will do so once we have this information.

    Our team will continue to make every effort to reduce the impact on the local community and travelling public, and we appreciate your continued patience while we deliver this essential safety work.

  • 05 April 2024

    Traffic management changes - update

    Following feedback we successfully changed our traffic management on Thursday 28 March, moving the lane closure north of Dixton Roundabout. Feedback so far has suggested this has helped reduce the congestion in the area. The 40mph speed limit remains in place through the roadworks as does the temporary concrete barrier, which stops debris falling into the path of traffic.

    We’re now exploring the best traffic management solution to progress the debris clearance from the A40. These options include staggered daytime closures or a contraflow. As the contraflow will need suitable crossover points designed (locations where traffic moves onto the opposite carriageway), this will mean that the debris removal would take longer to begin than full daytime closures would. This is because we would need to survey the central reservation under a closure to ensure it can take traffic running over it, and if not then work would be required to strengthen it.

    We’re still in conversations with Monmouthshire County Council and South Wales Trunk Road Agent to progress this work. We’re hoping to have a programme of work to clear the site and make the area safe ready to share soon.  

    We understand the perception that little work is happening to clear the site, but we’re working hard to make sure we implement the best traffic management solution for the clearance, while keeping everybody safe.

    Once the debris is clear, we’ll be in a better position to understand what work is needed to secure the rockfall site. 

  • 22 March 2024

    Traffic management changes planned to ease traffic congestion

    We’re making changes to the traffic management on the A40 at Leys Bend, to help reduce congestion in the area and make journey times more reliable.

    Our project team has reviewed the emergency traffic measures put in place to safely open the A40 at Leys Bend after the rockfall. In response to your feedback, and in consultation with local highways authorities and travel partners, our team will move the current closure further along the road, north of the A466 Dixton roundabout at the Welsh Border. This change will ease tailbacks and congestion at the roundabout.

    The traffic management change will take place overnight on Thursday 28 March. The 40mph speed limit will remain in place through the roadworks as will the temporary concrete barrier, which stops debris falling into the path of traffic.

    In tandem with progressing work to adjust the traffic management, engineering specialists have been analysing the damage caused by the rockfall and the stability of the hillside to identify our options for carrying out repairs. 

    Our team will continue to make every effort to reduce the impact of the rockfall on the local community and travelling public, and we appreciate your continued patience while we deliver this essential safety work.

  • 18 March 2024

    Eastbound carriageway - update

    On Monday 19 February, we successfully opened lane two on the A40 eastbound carriageway with a reduced speed limit of 40mph. Lane one currently remains closed, and we’ve installed a temporary concrete barrier to separate the area from traffic and stop any material from falling into lane two.

    We’re regularly monitoring network performance and traffic in the area to understand if there are any additional measures we can put in place to improve journeys for road users.

    Our team is currently working on plans for repairing the hillside and rockface above the A40. Due to the complex nature of this incident, and loose material on the hillside, it’s likely this work will take several months to plan and complete.

    Repair work will be designed and led by engineering specialists, to ensure the long-term stability of the hillside. In the meantime, we aim to keep lane two open to traffic.

    As our survey work progresses, additional risks may be identified meaning we’ll need to install road closures to put in place safety precautions. Should this be necessary, we’ll issue regular updates and make sure disruption to the local community and travelling public are kept to a minimum.

Project information


There’s been a rockfall on the A40, close to the Welsh border, and therefore we need to carry out repair work to the hillside and rockface above the road.

The repair work to the hillside and rockface above the A40 will ensure the road remains safe to motorists for years to come.


Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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