When will the Iron Tram Bridge and PROW in Robertstown reopen?
Public Rights of Way Officer
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council
February 10 2020
Subject: Re: Iron Tram Bridge, Robertstown Aberdare Cadw Source ID: 2283
Dear Mr Bragg,
On23 April 2019 I asked you, “can you provide a date when the Public Right of Way now closed over the above Tram Bridge will be open again?”
Your response below was on 2 May 2019.
“The Council is aware of the historical importance of this Grade-II listed structure. The bridge has been identified as having scour damage and significant structural steelwork defects. A full closure of the Public Right of Way remains in place with security fencing erected in the interests of public safety. The Council recently met with consulting engineers and specialist contractors to agree the scope of the necessary repair works. As the bridge is grade listed the remedial works will require the consent of CADW. The Council hope to meet with CADW in the near future to discuss these proposed remedial works”
I also wrote to CADW and had the response below.
I thank you for you in-depth response to my question about the Iron Tram Bridge Robertstown, there will be many people interested in your response as I have been asked what is happening with the bridge.
I have written to Jason Bragg Rhondda Cynon Taf Public Rights of Ways Officer in relation to the reopening of the Public Right of Way over the bridge but no response as yet.
Now 9 months have past and the Public Right of Way remains closed I understand you had to get consent or permission from Natural Restores Wales as the work involves the River Cynon, has this been achieved?
You would be aware the bridge and PROW is a link for pedestrians to cross the busy A 4059 at this point.
Are you now in a position to provide a start date for the work on repairing and reopening of the grade 2 listed bridge and PROW?
Below a reply I received May 2019 from CADW.
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:
a) The works are limited to the minimum measures immediately necessary; and
b) 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.
Should you wish to progress this matter as a press query on behalf of Aberdare Online please contact Cadw’s press officer who is copied to this mail via firstname.lastname@example.org