Motorists urged to avoid Wales’ most polluted street as work to demolish houses begins
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
Motorists are being urged to avoid Wales’ most polluted street as preparation work continues to demolish an entire block of homes there.
Caerphilly County Borough Council is urging motorists to avoid the A472 Hafodyrynys Road in Crumlin because of expected congestion due to a lane closure.
Aberdare-based engineering firm Walters has been awarded the contract for the demolition – and will start work at the site on September 20.
Before that begins, Wales and West Utilities will be disconnecting the gas supply to the properties by digging up the pavement. Because of this, traffic lights will be installed for a temporary pedestrian crossing.
The traffic lights will be in operation from 9.30am to 3pm for two weeks from Monday 13 September.
The date for the demolition of 23 homes has not been confirmed but it is expected to be mid-October.
Hafodyrynys Road was named the UK’s most polluted street outside of central London in 2016 due to recorded nitrogen dioxide levels.
The demolition is expected to improve air quality on the street. Currently, pollution gets trapped between the houses and the trees opposite, with a busy road sandwiched between them.
Demolition was originally expected to start in May, but has since been pushed back twice. The council has previously said the pandemic had impacted the scheme and caused the delay.
Plaid Cymru councillor Mike Davies, who represents the Crumlin ward on Caerphilly County Borough Council, recently said this was an excuse from the council.
In July 2020, the Welsh Government endorsed plans submitted by the council to demolish the houses.
The compulsory purchase of these properties at 50% above the market rate was agreed by the council’s cabinet in 2019.