Iron Tram Bridge, Robertstown Aberdare

Ref: Grade 2 listed Tram Bridge, Robertstown Aberdare Cadw Source ID: 2283


AberdareOnline contacted CADW in relation to the Grade 2 listed Tram Bridge, Robertstown 

I understand from Social Medea your organization is involved with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council the with the above bridge repairs that require urgent work to repair sections of the foundations, do you have a timescale for this work to be commenced and a completion date?

Having worked on many grade 2 listed building I am aware of your involvement with such structures. Having no confidence with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council after they allowed the demolition of Bethania Chapel and Sunday school your organization would also be aware the company who demolished the chapel damaged the access steps that were also graded 2 listed tracking a steel track machine over the steps without protection to the steps. The reason I question Rhondda Cynon Taf Council capabilities you would be aware the tram road next to the bridge is listed and the council has dug up sections to erect an eyesore of a steel fence when a temporary Heras fencing would have done without damage to the tram road.

I am aware you work in conjunction with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and basically they can do, as they want without redress from your organization. The bridge forms part of a Public Right of Way and the work required needs to be carried out as soon as possible.

A response from CADW below

Thank you for your email regarding the Iron Trambridge, Robertstown, scheduled monument number GM347.


Cadw officers visited the Iron Trambridge on 5th June 2018 with representatives of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council to inspect the structure and consider conservation works.  The bridge was in a seriously poor condition and actively deteriorating.  Issues discussed during the site visit included lost and displaced masonry from the abutments, cracked ironwork, vegetation growing on the structure, undermining of the structure caused by erosion (associated with river bed erosion at this location) and potential impacts of the storm drain. 


Cadw subsequently provided a written vegetation management plan for the structure. 


Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC undertook emergency stabilisation works over three days between 25th July and 31st August 2018.  This work was carried out with Class 5 Consent, which allows for works urgently necessary in the interests of safety or health, if:

  1. The works are limited to the minimum measures immediately necessary; and
  2. Notice in writing justifying in detail the need for the works is given to Cadw as soon as reasonably practicable.


Full specification for the work was provided by RCTCBC and approved by Cadw.  An archaeological watching brief was carried out during the work, and subsequently reported on, by the Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust.  Whilst a team was on site the opportunity was taken to recover stone which had fallen from the bridge into the river, so that it can be used in subsequent repairs.  This work was also overseen by archaeologists.


We do not have legal powers to enforce remedial works to scheduled monuments.  We work closely with owners and occupiers of monuments to provide advice and guidance regarding management and conservation measures.  RCTCBC proposed to contact the contractor involved in work on Ironbridge, Shropshire, and work in partnership with them to develop a conservation plan for the Iron Tram Bridge.  Such works require permission (scheduled monument consent) from Cadw in advance of the work being undertaken. 


Thank you for raising concern about the condition of the bridge.  I have contacted RCTCBC to establish if conservation proposals have been developed and if an application for SMC will be forthcoming. 

Additional response from CADW

I have received some good news from RCTCBC – they have undertaken an instigation meeting this week with their consultants and contractor in order to plan a way forward.  They will be working closely with Cadw to ensure that the project is appropriate for the bridge.  We will determine any scheduled monument consent application submitted by RCTCBC for works to the bridge, and through this process the works can be controlled.

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