Work has started on a new road in the Vale of Glamorgan that will serve three vital purposes.
Welsh Government is investing £15.5m in the Northern Access Road (NAR), which will be an essential part of the highway network leading to the St Athan and Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zones.
In addition to providing the necessary access to the airside business park, the design has incorporated environmental defence works to help protect the villages of Llanmaes and Boverton from flooding.
Constructed by Alun Griffiths Contractors Ltd, the NAR will be 2km of an entirely new section, tying in to the existing Eglwys Brewis road and the B4265. It has been developed to take traffic away from St Athan and the Eglwys Brewis road, creating an improved local environment and a safer route for children to walk to school.
Cutting the turf to mark the start of the work, Transport Secretary Ken Skates said:
“Unconstrained vehicular access to the Aerospace Business Park is essential to allow it to compete on an international stage and maximise the economic benefits that come with such increased exposure.
“The Northern Access Road provides the business park with a fit for purpose access to major highway routes for vehicles of all sizes, including logistic. The new road will be able to accommodate successful future growth and the route is sympathetic to needs identified in the area’s Local Development Plan.
“This one project fulfils 3 equally important roles, and I am pleased Welsh Government has been able to invest in it.”
Alun Smith, a Director of Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd said:
“We are delighted to have been successful in our bid to assist Welsh Government in providing the improvements in infrastructure around the St Athan area, which will allow the Aerospace Business Park to be developed to its full potential. The project team are fully committed to completing the scheme within time and budget, despite having to resolve some challenging circumstances along the way. Our primary concern as always is to complete the project safely and with as little disruption to the local residents and travelling public as possible.”
Cllr John Thomas, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said:
“The momentum behind the Vale’s economic development continues to grow and this project is just one of a number that will drive prosperity in the area over the coming years. Effective transport links will be vital to the success of the business park and the wider enterprise zone in general. This scheme will also bring great benefits to local residents by taking traffic away from the surrounding villages and giving local children safer walking routes to schools. I am delighted that the preparatory work has now been completed and construction can now start as planned.”
Advance works commenced in January with top soil strip, along with the installation of site fencing and archaeological investigation works. Some minor historic finds were discovered as part of the investigation, but nothing so significant that would cause delay to the start of planned construction, with completion predicted in Autumn 2019.