This is the first Severn Bridge connecting Aust, England to Chepstow, Wales – this bridge saved a 50 mile round trip up to the next bridge over the River Severn at Gloucester – It was opened in 1966 and carried the M4 until the Second Severn Crossing took over in 1996 – the road on this bridge remains open as the M48, and now much more lightly used. It is now a Grade I listed monument – more information about this bridge can be found on Wikipedia.
When the bridge opened, Harri Webb wrote and Ode on the Severn Bridge:
Two lands at last connected
Across the waters wide,
And all the tolls collected
On the English side.
Tolls were, at that time collected in both directions, but now only when travelling west bound into Wales – this led to claims that this is a ‘tax on entering Wales’…The tolls will cease in 2018 (apparently), probably leading to more traffic as I cannot imagine that the Second Severn Crossing will stop charging for a long time yet!
The main photograph was taken from the English side on Aust beach (though not much of a beach to be honest!) just along from the village of Old Passage…this used to be the road to get to the old car ferry before the bridge was built.
There is still evidence of the supports and beams of the road platform that took the cars over the marshy foreshore to the Aust ferry. The cafe and ticket office building is also still partly in evidence, but very dilapidated and very overgrown now. One of the support beams is shown below (and you can just about make out the road platform of the Second Severn Crossing in the background) – I am quite surprised at the condition of the wooden beams and supports – after all, they have not been maintained for over 50 years! The rusty metal work does not seem to have survived quite so well…
Main photograph: 18mm(XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS); 1/450s@f13; ISO200 – handheld – post processing in Luminar Neptune – DSCF63351709095460-Edit.jpg
Second photograph: 18mm(XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS); 1/480s@f10; ISO200 – handheld – post processing in Luminar Neptune – DSCF63321709095457-Edit.jpg