Councillors have approved early stage funding which could lead to a major upgrade of a key congested roundabout.
Traffic on the Bedwas Bridge roundabout, which connects the A468 with the B4600 and the Lansbury Park Link Road, already exceeds capacity during morning and evening peak times, according to Caerphilly County Borough Council. The actual level of traffic is likely to be higher as this assessment is based on data from 2012, and traffic levels will only increase with planned future housing developments at Virginia Park and the Catnic site.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet has approved £107,000 towards initial feasibility work which could see a potential £10 million upgrade of the roundabout. At this stage it is unclear where the money to fund the eventual scheme could come from.
The project was given the go-ahead at a meeting of the council’s Regeneration Projects Board back in February. The first £107,000 is part of a planned £600,000 spend, which in turn will be used to “unlock” external funding to deliver the £10m-plus scheme.
External funding is most likely to mean Welsh Government money and possibly money from Section 106 agreements.
What’s a Section 106 agreement?
A Section 106 agreement is a legally binding private contract between a developer (or a number of
interested parties) and a Local Planning Authority (LPA) that operates alongside a statutory planning permission.
Such agreements require developers to carry out specified planning obligations when implementing planning
permissions and are the result of negotiations on these matters between the parties.
Improvements might mean road upgrades, new playgrounds or even a financial contribution to a scheme to encourage walking and cycling, for example.
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Another bridge over the River Rhymney?
According to the application to the council’s Regeneration Projects Board, which was made by the council’s infrastructure department, ecological and flooding surveys are planned to be carried out over the next year as well as updating traffic data.
Design work will also be carried out, but initial work has already suggested that a second bridge crossing the River Rhymney will be needed to boost capacity.
The roundabout has long been identified as a choke point in the Caerphilly basin and its upgrading is earmarked in the council’s current Local Development Plan.
Further along the A468 from the Bedwas Bridge roundabout is the Pwllypant Cedar Tree roundabout, which was upgraded between October 2017 and late November 2018 at a total cost of around £8m.
That project, which was supposed to be delivered within 12 months, was £2.7m overbudget and caused misery for motorists with long tailbacks and delays while work was being done.
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