Cabinet has granted officers the authority to progress the next stages of the A465 Cynon Gateway North (Aberdare Bypass) highway scheme – including submitting a planning application and finalising a Compulsory Purchase Order.
At their virtual meeting on Thursday, September 24, Cabinet received an update on the major scheme which the Council has previously committed to delivering in a future financial year. It will extend the A4059 Aberdare Bypass at a point between Trecynon and Hirwaun, creating a new link to the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road via a new section of road to Croesbychan.
In October 2018, Cabinet supported Welsh Government’s plan to dual 17.7km of the A465 from Hirwaun to Dowlais Top, including a new junction on the A465 at Croesbychan to tie into A4059 Aberdare Bypass extension. An officer report to Cabinet Members on Thursday confirmed that preliminary highway alignment for the Cynon Valley Gateway North was recently finalised.
The report adds that the new road will be around 1.2km long and 7.3m wide, and will be constructed through sections of privately-owned, Council-owned and unregistered land. Several structures will be built to facilitate the road crossing the River Cynon, Nant Hir and the Hirwaun-Aberdare freight line. A bridge structure will be built where the road travels over the railway, which will allow for future electrification of the line at this location by Transport for Wales.
Roundabouts will be built at either end of the new road – off the A4059 and at Croesbychan – while local Active Travel routes will be enhanced. Ecological surveys have been ongoing for the past year, and the Council is working with Natural Resources Wales in relation to the protected species identified.
The report adds that a pre-planning application consultation is proposed for autumn 2020, with a planning submission to follow later in the autumn. Work is currently anticipated to start on site in autumn 2022, subject to successful completion of all statutory procedures and the availability of finance and land.
The estimated cost of the project is £30m, with Welsh Government committed to working in partnership with the Council to deliver it. The total funding received from Welsh Government since 2011/12 is £2.016m, with sustained funding between 2017/18 and 2020/21 via the Local Transport Network Fund. The Council has committed £2.3m through the RCT Investment Programme.
At Thursday’s meeting, Cabinet Members delegated authority to the relevant Group Director to submit a planning application on behalf of the Council, and to take all of the necessary steps to make, confirm and implement a Compulsory Purchase Order of land which is required for the scheme.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “The Cynon Gateway North is the latest major highway scheme being progressed by the Council, which is designed to cut travel times and distances in a strategic area of the County Borough’s road network. Similarly to the Llanharan Bypass and A4119 dualling from Coed Ely to Ynysmaerdy, we are committed to delivering the extension of the Aberdare Bypass as a priority scheme, in order to deliver a major improvement in travel connectivity.
“The scheme will be delivered alongside the dualling of the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road, and the Council has received support from Welsh Government to deliver both schemes as partners. They are both in the heart of the Cynon Gateway Strategic Opportunity Area, which this Council has identified as an area with the potential for significant regional and economic growth.
“More localised benefits of the scheme will include the increased capacity of the A4059 between Aberdare and Hirwaun, the improved connectivity between Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Heads of the Valley region, and improvement in road safety, and a reduction in the significant volume of traffic which will travel through the village of Llwydcoed.
“On Thursday, Cabinet received an update on the progress being made to deliver the scheme, and Members agreed to progress the next major steps – namely the submission of a planning application and the implementation of a Compulsory Purchase Order. Cabinet’s support will allow the Council to carry out a consultation process with members of the public this autumn, where residents’ views will be taken into consideration as this scheme progresses.”
Posted on Thursday 24th September 2020