Pos­si­ble routes for new link road are un­veiled

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

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.”

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