RCTC Capital Programme for Highways Projects in 2022/23 Not Going To Get Far With Just £1.5m allocated for the Cynon Gateway North
Cabinet Members have agreed a £26.365m Capital Programme for Highways, Transportation and Strategic Projects in 2022/23 – to further invest in these priority areas, while continuing to maximise external funding opportunities.
A report to Cabinet on Monday, March 21, proposed capital allocations of £11.203m (Highways Technical Services) and £15.162m (Strategic Projects) for next year – to continue to repair, maintain and future-proof the highway and transportation network, and evolve it to meet changing travel demands. Members agreed with officer recommendations to approve the Programme.
Highways Technical Services (£11.203m)
The Programme allocates £3.663m funding for Carriageways, across a list of 121 resurfacing schemes – available to view as an Appendix to the report. Funding for footway renewals (£437,000) is also allocated across 41 schemes, while 13 new Unadopted Roads schemes (£500,000) are included, in addition to the ongoing programme of seven schemes in 2021/22.
A total Highways Structures budget of £5.65m will support five proposed schemes – Bodringallt Bridge and Brook Street Footbridge in Ystrad, the Llanharan Railway Footbridge, Nant Cwm Parc Cantilever/Institute Bridge in Treorchy, and Imperial Bridge in Porth. A £500,000 Parks Structures programme is to be implemented with projects taken from those outlined in the report’s Appendix.
In addition, funding for Street Lighting improvements at four locations (£200,000), small scale Traffic Management schemes (£160,000) and ongoing work to repair and upgrade Car Parks (£45,000), is also included.
The report also notes the separate funding secured from Welsh Government for Storm Dennis works, with £6.441m allocated in 2022/23. This will progress priority schemes such as Berw Road (White Bridge) repairs, the Castle Inn Footbridge replacement, Tynybryn Footbridge and Feeder Pipe Footbridge.
It also adds that significant Land Drainage and Flood Risk Improvements are separate to the Capital Programme – with the Council able to frequently benefit from Welsh Government support (as an 85% contribution).
Strategic Projects (£15.162m)
A total allocation for Transportation Infrastructure is £14.989m – allocating £5.55m to progress the Llanharan Link Road, £5.341m for the A4119 Dualling (Coed Ely to Ynysmaerdy), and £1.5m for the Cynon Gateway North – while £640,000 is allocated to the Park and Ride Programme to create extra parking capacity at railway stations alongside the Metro investment, and £350,000 for electric vehicle chargers.
Also within the Transportation allocation is £1.1m funding for the Making Better Use Programme, which focuses on low-cost, high-value road network improvements to improve traffic flow and ease congestion. The two schemes to be progressed in 2022/23 are the design and development of A4059 corridor enhancements, and a pedestrian crossing at Ty Nant in Beddau.
The wider Strategic Projects funding is completed with a £515,000 allocation for Miscellaneous Improvements, covering operational issues in relation to bus corridors, and partnership working to resolve local highway issues.
The report notes that the Capital Programme is separate to a series of Welsh Government transport grants (Safe Routes in Communities, Local Transport Fund, Local Transport Network Fund and Road Safety Grant), across which £6.777m was allocated in 2021/22. The Council’s own funding in this area was also complemented by the UK Government Levelling Up Fund (£11.417m) and Welsh Government drainage/flood grants (£7m) last year.
Funding bids for Active Travel, Safe Routes in Communities and the Local Transport Fund for 2022/23 have been submitted, along with a bid to Welsh Government across 16 Resilient Roads schemes (totalling £2.4m) next year.
The Council has recently received confirmation that it was successful in securing £2.939m from the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management programme, and £939,250 from the Small Scale Works Grant programmes. This funding is earmarked for flood alleviation work during 2022/23.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “The very detailed report considered by Cabinet on Monday outlines the continued major investment being made right across the Highways, Transportation and Strategic Projects service areas – with £26.365m now agreed for these priorities next year, with support from Cabinet Members.
“The Council’s funding is complemented by significant external contributions too – for example, more than £6.4m is already secured from the Welsh Government for Storm Dennis schemes next year, along with almost £3.9m across two Welsh Government programmes for flood risk management work. In 2021/22, we were very successful in securing this external investment, and Officers will continue to seek important funding opportunities for 2022/23 – with bids in key areas like Active Travel and Safe Routes made by officers.
“I’m pleased that our accelerated funding approach to road maintenance will also continue next year, with £3.663m now agreed to support 121 resurfacing schemes. Monday’s Cabinet report noted how the condition of the roads in Rhondda Cynon Taf has widely improved across all indicators. For example, 3.6% of all roads required maintenance in 2021/22, compared with 15.7% in 2010/11 – and this trend is reflected over the same period for ‘A’ roads (16.2% to 3.7%), ‘B’ roads (15.2% to 4.8%) and ‘C’ roads (15.3% to 2.3%).
“Next year’s Capital Programme also supports important highways structures schemes – with £5.65m allocated for Bodringallt Bridge, Brook Street Footbridge, Llanharan Railway Footbridge, Nant Cwm Parc Cantilever and Imperial Bridge. Additional funding is allocated to further progress major schemes such as the Llanharan Link Road, the A4119 dualling and the Cynon Gateway North – within a wider £14.989m allocation for Transportation.
“Cabinet Members’ agreement of this Capital Programme on Monday further demonstrates the Council’s commitment to supporting Highways and Transportation as a priority area of investment, for the benefit of residents. The Programme of works will come into effect from April 1, 2022.”