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HIGHWAYS INVESTMENT: £25m spending planned for Rhondda Cyon approved

HIGHWAYS INVESTMENT: £25m spending planned for Rhondda Cyon approved

Image: LDRS

The council has approved spending over £25m on highways and transport schemes in Rhondda Cynon Taf this year.

Cabinet approved the supplementary capital programme for highways, transportation and strategic projects on Thursday, March 25.

For 2021/2022, the council is putting £12.94m towards highways schemes and £12.07m towards strategic projects.

Here is how the £12.94m for highways will be broken down:

  • £5.69m for carriageway resurfacing and surface treatment made up of £4.69m to continue resurfacing and treatment at identified locations and £500,000 each for minor surface repairs and essential repairs.
  • £4.99m for structures with work ongoing on the replacement Brook Street Footbridge adjacent to Ystrad railway station which is seeing £2.75m carried over into this year and the Nant Cwm Park Cantilever (A4061 Station Road)
  • £1.11m for footways which are considered to be a high risk to the council
  • £750,000 for parks structures
  • £200,000 for street lighting with an ongoing programme of column replacement and a replacement of the council’s network of supply cables
  • £160,000 for traffic management including measures like warning signs, the introduction of traffic orders and the provision of residents parking.
  • £45,000 for repairs and upgrades to council car parks

On flood alleviation, the council benefits from 85% funding from Welsh Government for individual schemes.

An allowance has been made to provide council match funding for successful applications.

There are 10 strategic flood risk area schemes are listed for 2021/22, along with 12 small scale flood alleviation schemes and 19 Resilient Roads schemes which are reliant on Welsh Government funding.

The council is looking for capital funding from Welsh Government to carry out a range of repairs needed after the impact of Storm Dennis last year including for priorities such as the Berw Road Bridge in Pontypridd, Feeder Pipe Footbridge in Abercynon, Penydarren Tramroad Bridge in Trecynon, Merlin Bridge in Hopkinstown and the Blaen-y-Cwm Road river wall.

The £12.07m for strategic projects will be spent on schemes like the Llanharan Bypass project, the A4119 dualling and the A465 Cynon Gateway North

The initial design has been completed for the Llanharan Bypass and another £1.5m will be allocated this year.

It will see a new road built south of Llanharan and Dolau, meeting the A473 to the east and west of those communities and a pre-application planning consultation will be held in the summer.

On the A4119 dualling, a further £5.45m will be put into the project through this programme.

It will see a 1.5km section of road increased to a dual carriageway from Coed Ely Roundabout to Llantrisant Business Park in Ynysmaerdy – with detailed design ongoing.

Planning consent for a footbridge at Coed Ely Roundabout has been granted and the Compulsory Purchase Order for the project was made in November 2020.

The A465 Cynon Gateway North will see a further £1.78m of funding this year.

The project will extend the A4059 by 1.2km – from a point between Trecynon and Hirwaun, heading north to create a new link to the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road.

Preliminary design is complete, and a pre-application planning consultation was held prior to a planning submission for the scheme made in late February this year.

There will be £393,000 going towards the Gelli Treorchy relief road with feasibility studies having started looking at how to relieve traffic congestion in Treorchy.

The cabinet report said Stag Square is a major bottleneck causing congestion and delays to users of the road network including public transport and that the study will look to identify potential options to reduce congestion.

There’s also £568,000 for park and ride to create extra car parking space at railway stations to encourage a switch from cars to rail travel.

There is £1.8m to extend the council’s Making Better Use programme which “looks at low cost, high value improvements for congested sections of the council’s highways network, to improve traffic flows, ease congestion and have a positive impact on road safety,” the report said.

Of this, £1.5m is set to be put towards creating a new active travel link in the form of a crossing and a new river bridge between the bus and rail stations at Aberdare to enhance links between the town centre and the college, school,
residential areas as well as the new industrial units currently under construction at Robertstown

And there will be £425,000 for a series of miscellaneous improvements to deal with a number of operational issues covering safety, accessibility, efficiency and capacity.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, leader of the council, said it is a “very positive report and said they had just had funding bids around transport and flood management approved by Welsh Government in recent days.

Some of the funding he mentioned included funding from the city deal for Porth, money for the Cardiff north west railway line scheme, the railway line extension to Hirwaun and bus interchange improvement funding.

Cllr Morgan also said they are expecting more funding this year from Welsh Government to repair the damage caused by Storm Dennis

He said: “It is really positive news and I think it has been a very good outcome.”

Full council approved the wider three year capital programme for 2021/22-2023/24 on March 10.

Words: Anthony Lewis, Local Democracy Reporter

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