Church Village Bypass Opens

14 September 2010

The £90m Church Village Bypass in South Wales - the largest single highways project undertaken by any local authority in the UK - has officially opened two months ahead of schedule.

The project, which was led by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council through a Welsh Assembly Transport Grant, was officially opened by the Welsh Assembly Government’s First Minister – Carwyn Jones – and Council Leader Cllr Russell Roberts.

A team from Capita Symonds’ Glamorgan office provided project management, CDM coordination and geotechnical advisory services on the 7km scheme.

Built by contractor Costain, the single carriageway scheme will provide traffic relief for the heavily congested A473 which passes through the communities of Church Village, Ton-teg and Llantwit Fardre. The reduction in traffic will lead to road safety, noise and vibration and air quality environmental benefits for local residents and businesses.

The scheme comprises four roundabouts, a traffic signal controlled junction and around 3km of side roads which provide links to the existing road network and the communities. Structures consist of two road bridges, three footbridges, a pedestrian underpass and two cattle creeps together with a number of major culverts. To reduce health and safety risk and to simplify and speed up construction the road bridges were constructed using precast concrete arches while the culverts and cattle creeps were constructed using steel arch designs.


Particular attention was paid to reducing the visual impact of the Bypass through the use of bunding and extensive planting of around 117,000 trees. This will reduce the effects of traffic noise on the community that will be further supplemented by selective use of noise barriers.

A pedestrian and cycle community route is also being provided along the whole length of the scheme. This will link into communities along the route providing a safe, sustainable alternative form of transport.

A total of 1,400,000 working man hours were undertaken with 73 inactive individuals being employed. The work was undertaken without any reportable accidents.

The first vehicles to travel the new Bypass were a selection of the classic Gilbern cars that were built in Church Village from 1959 onwards. The First Minister and fellow guests travelled the highway in one of the vintage vehicles before the Bypass became accessible to all.

This extremely challenging project is also an exemplar in demonstrating how the public and private sectors can work together to successfully deliver major Welsh schemes on time and on budget

First Minister Carwyn Jones said at the unveiling: “I’m delighted to see this road fully open to users and it is testament to the hard work of the local authority and the contractors that it has been completed on time and on budget. As well as the economic, environmental and social benefits, the new road will bring by allowing traffic to travel more efficiently along this crucial route, this project has provided a valuable boost to the local economy in difficult times.”

Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Cllr Russell Roberts, said: “This is an extremely proud day for us in Rhondda Cynon Taf.  Many of us have campaigned long and hard for this moment and I want to thank everyone who has been part of this effort, including Pontypridd AM Jane Davidson, Church Village councillors and of course the Welsh Assembly Government for providing the financial backing.”

Darren James, Managing Director of Infrastructure for Costain said: “We are delighted to announce the completion of the Church Village Bypass that has been delivered safely, on time and to best value and provides an outstanding example of effective partnership working. Perhaps what has made the project even more successful is the wider community benefits that have been achieved, including the employment of over 70 economically inactive individuals, the support of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), the investment into the local economy and a comprehensive schools and education programme that has ensured over 4,000 students have benefited from the construction of the Bypass."

Wayne Palmer, Associate Director of Capita Symonds, which project managed the scheme, said: “I would like to thank everyone involved for the many years of hard work in bringing this scheme to fruition. The new Church Village Bypass provides the local area with exceptional transport links that will play a vital role in its ongoing regeneration. This extremely challenging project is also an exemplar in demonstrating how the public and private sectors can work together to successfully deliver major Welsh schemes on time and on budget.”