Pathway repairs cause traffic chaos as schedule extends from months to years
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
Works to a pathway in Rhondda Cynon Taf which people say should’ve taken months but is now approaching two years is causing traffic chaos.
Business owners in Llanharan have spoken about the issues that the work to the footpath on Bridgend Road (A473) has caused with a temporary set of traffic lights causing traffic to back up down the A473 entering the village and also up Hillside Avenue during peak times.
Jayne Mogford from The Corner Shop said: “It can take 10 minutes longer to get to the end of the road. It’s caused a lot of problems especially with people crossing the road.”
She said the work has gone on for around two years despite the fact that they were told it would take three to six months.
She claims they’re always finding problems with the work and that it has caused “chaos.”
She also mentioned the fumes that they get in the shop after a while and said it gets frustrating for drivers with some trying to skip the lights which has a knock on effect.
Ms Mogford went on to mention the “huge lorries” travelling through what is a little village and she said this causes congestion as the traffic has to stay behind them.
She said: “We are losing a lot of business. It is stopping people coming into the shop.”
Lynfa Hadden who runs Lynfa’s Boutique and One-2-Call taxis said for calls she gets after 4pm there are “queues of traffic and it takes ages to get in”.
She also said it’s difficult to use the lane and access the back of the property as a result and that they have to send the vehicles out to wash them which is costing the business.
She said it’s a “nightmare” coming in and out of the village and trying to cross the road and that vehicles go through red lights.
Ms Hadden said: “It’s gone on for so long. The community in Llanharan have just had enough.”
She claims they have kept being given dates including last Christmas, then March, then May and then August for when it will be finished.
She said: “I can’t run my business between four and six. We were promised a bypass which isn’t happening. It’s a nightmare when someone breaks down.”
A spokesperson for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said: “The Llanharan Railway footbridge was necessarily closed to ensure safety after an inspection found its condition to be deteriorating.
“Initially, both lanes at Bridgend Road remained open to motorists, and pedestrians were diverted via the adjacent railway bridge.
“However, despite various warning messages from the Council and the clear signage in place, pedestrians continued to dangerously walk within the road – so a single lane closure with traffic signal control had to be implemented on the grounds of safety.
“The damaged footbridge has since been removed, and the new bridge has been fabricated off site.
“The entire replacement scheme has proven very complex with many issues hampering progress, which are beyond the Council’s control.
“These have included – at various points of the scheme – site constraints for services, historical underground structures, poor ground conditions, limited access for plant, ecology and securing of necessary licenses to manage protected species, coordination, track possessions and technical approval from the rail industry on what is an extremely busy mainline.
“The latest challenge has arisen through defective work by the contractor which requires a complex technical solution that must be agreed by all parties.
“The Council would again like to thank residents for their patience and cooperation, and will keep them up to date as the scheme progresses towards completion.”
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