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Rhondda Cynon Taf: Llanharan footbridge update

A DATE has been set for a railway footbridge in Rhondda Cynon Taf to be replaced after residents previously said the works around it have caused “traffic chaos” for around two years.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said the Llanharan railway footbridge replacement scheme will see the bridge lifted into place on Saturday, October 14 with the rest of the works to be carried out ahead of the overall completion of the scheme during the first week of November.

Previously, the Local Democracy Reporting Service spoke to business owners in Llanharan who expressed their frustration at temporary traffic lights causing traffic to back up down the A473 entering the village and also up Hillside Avenue during peak times. Residents said they were initially told it would take months but the works have lasted around two years.

A Queue Of Traffic On Hillside Avenue In Llanharan. Picture from Anthony Lewis

In preparation for the bridge lift, a temporary traffic order for a road closure of Bridgend Road is set to be issued, the council said.

The council said that the temporary road closure (TRO) will cover dates between September 30 and December 18, 2023 but added that the road closure will only be required for the Saturday evening whilst the bridge structure is lifted into place.

In August, the council gave an update on the scheme saying that the footbridge scheme has been challenging and more recently work undertaken by the contractor was defective with a re-design needed for piles on the south support to the bridge and a solution was needed that was agreed by all parties.

The council stressed at the time that the continuing delays were “unacceptable” and the council apologised for the ongoing inconvenience the scheme is causing to residents.

Traffic queuing down the A473 on the way into Llanharan. Picture from Anthony Lewis

Now, subject to weather conditions or cancellation of the rail track possession, the council said the replacement structure will be installed on Saturday, October 14 which will see Bridgend Road closed but more details about this will be revealed closer to the date.

In case of issues, the council has also booked possession of the rail line for the following Saturday (October 21) as a contingency but it will not be needed if  the bridge lift goes ahead as planned on Saturday, October 14.

Following the bridge lift, the remaining on-site works will be completed over the next four to five weeks and then all traffic management will be removed.

The council thanked residents for their ongoing patience and cooperation with this scheme.