Possible routes for new link road are unveiled
THE two options a new link road between the M4 and A48 have been revealed.
The plans, unveiled yesterday, also include proposals for a new railway station and park and ride facility close to junction 34 of the M4.
Both routes would connect just south of the junction to the A48 at Sycamore Cross and would look to utilise a section of existing road to try to minimise impacts on nearby woodland.
One would bypass the village of Pendoylan to the east while the other route would bypass Pendoylan to the west.
The estimated costs for each scheme are £81m and £58.6m respectively. The eastern route is potentially more expensive given the need to take account of the floodplain.
Both would be single carriageway roads and would include segregated walking and cycling lanes and would allow for a new railway station and park and ride facility to be built close to junction 34 at an additional cost of about £25m.
The reports states it would be assumed a new railway station at junction 34 would provide frequent rail service east towards Cardiff and west towards Swansea, with a large park and ride facility.
It says it is anticipated any such facility would provide an integrated bus service between the railway station and strategic employment sites and Cardiff Airport as well as other regional employment centres.
However, the station option is being considered in isolation from the two routes.
The Vale of Glamorgan council and Welsh Government believe the scheme would improve access from the M4 and the Valleys into the heart of the Vale and western Cardiff along with Cardiff Airport and the surrounding enterprise zone and unlock further economic development in the area.
The routes are being presented as part of a public consultation exercise designed to get feedback on the possible options.
Funding for the new route would come from the Welsh Government but it will not necessarily be connected to the City Deal.
The plans will be on show to the public for the next four weeks. This will initially be at locations close to the proposed routes – the Vale Hotel and Resort at Hensol today and Cottrell Park Golf Club tomorrow – and then at the Vale of Glamorgan council offices.
Council leader John Thomas said: “Our goal is to make the Vale of Glamorgan a more attractive place to live, work, and do business. This scheme will achieve not only this but also bring huge benefits to the wider economy.
“Cardiff Airport is of great national significance and its growth and future success, together with the Enterprise Zone, will be vital in fuelling economic development in south Wales.
“Both of the proposed routes would also make a real difference to the lives of those living in this part of the Vale. The lack of an appropriate transport link between the M4 and A48 has turned the roads connecting Pendoylan and the surrounding villages into rat runs for commuters. This is not good for anybody. The current road is also unfit for cyclists and pedestrians.
“We have already worked closely with local communities via our appointed consultants, Arcadis, to draw up these initial proposals. Now we want to hear the views of as many people as possible to help decide the best way forward.”
Spencer Birns, commercial director at Cardiff Airport, added: “We welcome the proposals to improve road access from junction 34 of the M4. As the national airport and a key gateway to the UK it is vital our customers can get to and from the airport easily from across South Wales and the south west of England, utilising road and public transport links.
“Surface access is hugely important for an airport, encouraging growth and improving the opportunity to compete in a global market. An Airport Operators Association report highlights how a 5% improvement in average journey times to and from airports could deliver a 2.7% increase in passenger numbers.
“As we forecast continued growth in the years ahead we will work closely with all partners to help encourage even more travellers to choose to fly through Cardiff Airport.”