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Highways investments approved

THE HIGHWAYS and infrastructure works that Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is planning to spend millions of pounds on in the next year have been approved.

Cabinet approved the supplementary capital programme for highways, transportation and strategic projects at a meeting on Monday, March 27, which will see more than £10m spent on highways works and more than £16m on strategic projects.

Of the £10.72m for highways improvement schemes, more than £4m will go towards roads with a programme of resurfacing and surface treatment worth £3.44m, including the installation of rock netting on Rhigos Mountain Road.

A pool of schemes has been previously approved and a further £2.44m of proposed schemes are to be added.

The actual schemes to be implemented in 2023-24 will be drawn from the approved pool based on officer prioritisation and deliverability

There will also be £500,000 to carry out minor surface repairs (larger patches), £50,000 for safety barrier work and £15,000 for disabled access improvements (dropped kerbs) adding up to a total of £4.01m.


For footpaths, a programme of resurfacing and surface treatment worth £486,000 will be funded in 2023-24.

A pool of schemes has been previously approved and this will be supplemented with a list of footpath schemes. Those to be implemented will be drawn on prioritisation by officers and constraints on the ability to deliver them.

Building on the funding allocated in 2021-22 and continued through 2022-23, a further £300,000 is being set aside for unadopted roads to enable more streets to be made up to adoptable standards and formally adopted as highways maintained by public money.

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Street lighting

An allocation of £540,000 for street lighting is split to enable £400,000 to be invested in traffic signals refurbishment and £140,000 towards street lighting.

Traffic signals funding will be allocated to those that need modernising and the streetlighting allocation will go towards an ongoing programme of column replacement and updating the council’s network of supply cables.

Highways structures

The cabinet report said there are significant challenges associated with maintaining highway structures with a number in a critical condition.

A total budget of £4.45m (including £1.84m from 2022-23) has been allocated for 2023-24 and the report said project management costs will be applied appropriately.

The report said Brook Street footbridge, adjacent to Ystrad railway station, is “substantially completed” and has had Welsh Government grant funding for active travel, the report said.

Any of the funding allocation to this project which can be released, will be diverted to other schemes.

The report said a number of challenges affected the delivery of this scheme in 2022-23, including staff resources, weather, access constraints and site changes.

The Imperial Bridge refurbishment, Bodringallt Bridge and confined space culvert repairs are schemes with some funding carried over into 2023-24 and with additional funding where necessary.

Graig Las Bridge repairs are to be funded from capital allocation. The bridge carries the A4063 over the river Ogwr Fach in Hendreforgan. The works will refurbish and repair the structure.

Lanelay Bridge is a masonry arch bridge that carries Lanelay Road over the river Ely near to its junction with the A473 roundabout. The proposed works are a full refurbishment of the stone masonry including vegetation clearance and repointing.

A number of highway structures schemes have been prepared for future implementation should extra funding become available.

Parks structures

A parks structures budget of £250,000 is allocated in 2023-24 in addition to the £530,000 being carried forward.

Works to repair Colliery Street Footbridge in Trehafod will progress and there is a pool of schemes from which projects will be taken forward.

The programme will see an allocation of £80,000 for project management costs.

Storm Dennis repairs

A number of highway and parks and countryside structures and embankments were damaged during Storm Dennis.

A £20.1m budget is assigned to this for 2023-24 funded by Welsh Government.

The Castle Inn footbridge replacement and Berw Road Bridge (White Bridge) are currently in progress. Tynybryn footbridge and Embankment and Feeder Pipe footbridge are at detailed design stage.

Drainage and flood risk improvements

There is also a drainage and flood risk improvements programme worth £750,000 with £623,000 from the council and £127,000 of grant funding.

Projects identified on the Welsh Government pipeline for capital investment in land drainage and flood risk improvements have been submitted for inclusion at around £4m and are waiting for confirmation of approval in principle and business case approval.

Grant bids have also been submitted for 15 small-scale schemes at around £1.3m and this follows more than £3.6m that was allocated in grant to RCT during 2022-23.

There were projects which had a grant bid submitted to the Welsh Government in February 2023 for the Resilient Roads Fund grant with a value of £2.7m for 2023-24.

This is aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change on the transport network and £400,000 was allocated to RCT during 2022-23.

Traffic management and car parks

Core capital funding of £110,000 is going towards traffic management for small-scale schemes and safety aids such as warning signs, the introduction of traffic orders and residents parking.

An ongoing programme of repairs and upgrades to the council’s car parks will continue with £45,000 allocated in 2023-24.

Strategic projects

The more than £16m for strategic projects includes £8.12m towards the dualling of the A4119 from Coedely to Ynysmaerdy, £363,000 towards the Gelli Treorchy link road, £730,000 towards the park and ride programme and £544,000 towards the Making Better Use programme and miscellaneous improvements.

The Making Better Use programme is there to identify, design and deliver a series of low-cost, high-value miscellaneous improvements to deal with a number of operational issues covering safety, accessibility, efficiency, enhancements to bus corridors and active travel.

It includes working with partners to resolve local accessibility and connectivity related issues and an element of this work will focus on the A4059 corridor.

The outcome of the recent Welsh Government roads review said funding would not be provided at the moment for the Llanharan link road and the Cynon Gateway North projects but they will be considered in future rounds of transport grant funding if they meet the new tests for road building

The cabinet report said: “Whilst the recommendations of the Roads Review Panel are unfavourable related to the two projects, it remains the case that major interventions are required to mitigate significant traffic and transportation related challenges that exist and will multiply in both cases as a result of planned infrastructure and committed housing development.

“The council will seek to work closely with Welsh Government to enable sustainable solutions to be identified that overcome these challenges and promote sustainable growth and economic activity.”

As a result, the council is allocating £5.05m towards the Llanharan corridor and £1.35m towards the A465 Cynon Gateway corridor.