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Welsh Government plans new road to improve links at Swansea’s SA1

12 Oct 2023 3 minute read
The Prince of Wales Dock, SA1, Swansea. Photo Richard Youle

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

The Welsh Government is planning to fill in a water channel at Swansea docks and build a road across it.

The road across the channel at Prince of Wales Dock, SA1, would provide a link from Kings Road, where the University of Wales Trinity Saint David campus is, along the south of the dock and from there up to Langdon Road, which connects to Fabian Way.

There is currently a swing bridge with a road across the channel, but it’s only for the use of dock owners Associated British Ports (ABP). The plan submitted to Swansea Council is for this private ABP road to remain, with the new road running parallel to it. There would also be a pedestrian footbridge, meaning people could finally walk all the way around the dock.

A planning statement submitted on behalf of the Welsh Government said: “The development will enhance the network of convenient and direct routes at SA1 and is anticipated to be well used.”

Under the plans a new culvert would be installed to maintain water flow between Prince of Wales Dock and Kings Dock, although a different culvert option might be considered.

Discussions about the proposal began four years ago with council officers – and Natural Resources Wales would need to approve a marine licence before any work got under way.

Marine habitats

The planning statement said marine habitats and species within Swansea docks were considered “commonly occurring” and not designated as nationally rare or protected. It added: “The overall potential changes in water quality during operation are considered to be insignificant.”

An environmental appraisal has been carried out as part of the application, assessing marine ecology and water quality among other things. It said: “No significant environmental impacts, either as a result of the project alone or in-combination with other plans, projects or activities, are anticipated during construction or operation.”

There are separate plans for a housing development and car park on the south side of Prince of Wales Dock, which hosts watersports activity such as the swimming leg of triathlons. And there are wider ambitions for new businesses and up to 525 new homes along what is known as the Fabian Way corridor leading towards Swansea University’s Bay Campus.

A commercial marina within the Prince of Wales Dock had been a Welsh Government aspiration, but it said in 2019 that it would cost £25 million and was not a priority at that time. Ministers took control of the dock from APB last year, and navigation rights ceased.

Cllr Sam Bennett, who represents the Waterfront ward, said he backed the new road and channel in-fill application. “It’s the missing link that would open the docks up,” he said. SA1 residents, he added, had wanted to be able to walk around Prince of Wales Dock for a long time.

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9 months ago

we were promised no new roads. we are in a clinate emergency.

Lyn Thomas
Lyn Thomas
9 months ago

No we were promised that all current road schemes would be re evaluated, never that there would never be any new roads, that is a conservative lie. Not all road schemes are bad, though mega road projects need mega justification before being built.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
9 months ago

Is “filling in” the channel and installing a new culvert more cost effective than, say, a bridge? Don’t know. Just wondering

Train Fan
Train Fan
9 months ago
Reply to  Sarah Good

With vision and foresight its feasible to provide a rail link to SA1 from the freight only Jersey Marine line connecting with the main line at Briton Ferry. Most of the rail infrastructure is still in situ. Its a much quicker route into central Swansea than the rather tortuous route via Neath and could be electrified onto Cardiff at a fraction of the cost.

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