Jane Hutt AM with Cllr Andrew Morgan and Cllr Jane Ward
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s important Highways Investment Scheme has improved and protected a staggering 1.3 MILLION m2 of roads to date – as well as creating local jobs and offering contracts to local firms.
That was the message from Cllr Andrew Morgan, Cabinet Member for Frontline Services when he welcomed Jane Hutt AM to the county borough to showcase the scheme’s success to date - and continue the campaign to continue securing investment to benefit communities.
Finance Minister Jane Hutt AM visited Windsor Road in Penrhiwceiber and Aberdare Road in Mountain Ash this week to see examples of the work that has been carried out across the county borough since 2012, thanks to investment from the Council and the Welsh Government’s Local Government Borrowing Initiative (LGBI).
She was also given the chance to meet Craig Davies, 24 and Joel Williams, 22, both of whom were unemployed and struggling to find work, before they secured two-year apprenticeships, working towards NVQs in Highways Maintenance amongst Council teams. Local ward member Cllr Jane Ward also attended.
The additional Welsh Government investment has allowed the Council to build upon and extend the work it already had planned to improve and protect the county borough’s roads for the benefit of those who live and work here.
As well as dramatically improving the condition of roads, which were left damaged and vulnerable as a result of consecutive harsh winters, the scheme has also:
Improved safety barriers installed on highways
Regenerated nearly 200 footways used in communities
Led to the completion of 54 drainage schemes
Strengthened 8 bridges
Renewed over 650 street lighting columns.
Offered apprenticeships to 12 people.
Ensured local firms secure the vital contracts
As the LGBI draws to an end, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council took the opportunity, on behalf of its communities, to showcase success to date and campaign to ensure the county borough continues to secure investment.
Jane Hutt AM said: “: “When we introduced the LGBI, we wanted to help Councils like Rhondda Cynon Taf address revenue pressures, and see them undertake new and necessary investment in our highways. I am delighted to see that that is exactly what is happening.
“Thanks to close collaboration between the Welsh Government and local authorities we have seen a significant increase in the ability of local authorities to fund improvements in transport infrastructure. The LGBI has not only helped to improve the condition of our roads, reduce travel times and increase safety for motorists and cyclists; it has also supported local economies across Wales by helping to sustain and create jobs for local people."
Cllr Andrew Morgan said: “We committed to the Highways Investment Programme in 2012 and have delivered, consistently and effectively, on it every year since, because we know what a priority it is to our communities, residents and businesses.
“A safe, well-maintained and effective roads network is crucial not only for the wellbeing of those who live and work here, but also for securing future investment and regeneration opportunities.
“We have also been able to safeguard and create local employment opportunities while delivering this far-reaching investment.
“We were pleased to be able to showcase this success today and we have pledged to continue campaigning and working innovatively to ensure investment of this kind in Rhondda Cynon Taf continues.”
The Highways Investment Scheme was introduced to deal with high numbers of potholes and improve the condition of the roads, following a series of harsh winters.
In Rhondda Cynon Taf, revenue budget consultation revealed pot holes were a major issue for motorists, with 62 per cent of those responding stating they would support an increase in council tax to fund road improvements.
Since 2012, the Council has invested some £19m – plus £11m through LGBI – to improve the highways infrastructure, which is a key asset for the Council, through a proactive strategy that not only repairs damage, but also prolongs the life of the road, reduces the need for future repairs and incorporates skid resistance into the road surface.
As a result of the investment, the improvements across Rhondda Cynon Taf are clear:
Before the scheme began 16.2% of “A” roads, 15.2% of “B” roads and 15.3% of “C” roads were considered “red” and needing essential maintenance. It is anticipated that, by the end of the programme, this would have dramatically fallen to 5.5%, 6.6% and 12.9% respectively.
Across Wales, the scheme has seen around 90 to 95 per cent of work going to contractors based in Wales.
Over 1,000 existing jobs have been safeguarded across Wales
In RCT, placements for 12 apprentices were secured.
AberdareOnline would add what about the Mountain Ash Southern Cross Valley Link?
Mountain Ash Southern Cross Valley Link - 7 December 2004
Following the publication of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Transport Strategy, Christine Chapman AM has questioned the Transport Minister on the Mountain Ash Southern Cross valley link road.
The upshot of it all is there is no funding, no real money available for Cynon Valley thanks to the Labour Party.
Below taken from
Rhondda Cynon Taf county borough council cabinet meeting 26 March 2007
Mountain Ash Southern Cross Valley Link estimated cost 5 million
The seven high priority schemes are the Church Village Bypass, the Mountain Ash Southern Cross Valley Link, the Upper Rhondda Fach Relief Road, the Gelli/ Treorchy Relief Road, the A4059 Aberdare By Pass Extension, the Tonyrefail Bypass/Ynysmaerdy to Coedely Dualling and the Upper Rhondda Fach Relief Road Extension (beyond Maerdy).
The two secondary priority schemes are the Mountain Ash Northern Cross Valley Link and Llanharan Bypass (eastern section).