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A465 Section 5 and 6 - Dowlais Top to Hirwaun

Project status: plannedRegion: south-east WalesStart date: summer 2019End date: 2022Cost: capital cost of construction approximately £400mAdvisers: Jacobs (technical advisers), DLA Piper (legal advisers), PWC (financial advisers), Willis (insurance advisers).

Why we are doing it

The existing, A465 was built in the 1960s and is a single three lane carriageway with two lanes in the uphill direction and one in the downhill direction. A regional traffic study in 1990 identified the need to improve this road.

The width of the road restricts traffic flow and opportunities for safe overtaking. In many areas there is poor visibility. Accidents on this stretch are concentrated around junctions and areas with poor visibility..

This improvement to the A465 is critical to the social and economic regeneration of the Heads of the Valleys area. It will improve access to key services, jobs and markets supporting inward investment to areas such as the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone.

Current progress

In 1994, the Secretary of State for Wales consulted the public on alternatives for improving the 40km length of the A465 between Abergavenny and Hirwaun. In July 1995 he announced his preferred route, which consisted of widening the existing road to provide a dual two-lane carriageway with some sections off the existing line of the road.

In 1997 a draft Line Order was published. The line Order was then made in June 1999 following a Public Local Inquiry in 1998.  The project was divided into 7 sections (later reduced to 6) to enable a phased delivery.

We appointed Jacobs in September 2015 to develop the design, produce an environmental impact assessment of the length between Dowlais Top and Hirwaun and take the scheme through the statutory process and seek the powers to build the road.

We are nearing the end of the outline design development. We have reviewed the original design and the feasibility of options to amend and improve it. We have commissioned  independent consultants to review environmental, structural, geotechnical, engineering and traffic modelling aspects of the design.

We are also inspecting the condition of existing structures on the A465 that we intend to keep as part of the new section of the A465. Once we have completed this work we will publish the new plans.


Public exhibitions: December 2015Publication of draft Orders and environmental statement: March 2017Public local inquiry: September 2017Minister's decision: February 2018Procure contractor: spring 2019Start of construction: summer 2019Completion of new section of trunk road: 2022