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Maerdy Mountain Road summer closure: Everything you need to know about the two-month plan

It's going to close until September

It’s set to affect everyone using the major road connecting the Rhondda and Cynon Valleys for almost the whole summer, so here’s everything you need to know about the closure.

Why is the road closing for so long?

It follows a landslip that happened around 18 months ago when it was damaged on December 31, 2015 after a sustained period of rain.

It was damaged at the Aberdare end of the road and a month later, more wet weather caused its condition to worsen, leaving 150m of the road at risk.

A single-lane traffic light control over 200m has since been required in the area, to allow investigations and development of a plan to repair the road.

It comes just months after the nearby Rhigos Mountain Road shut for a shorter period of time over two consecutive summers.

How long will it be closed for each day?

Rhondda Cynon Taf council has said the works will require a 24-hour closure.

But the work is scheduled for the school summer holidays, when it is believed less traffic will be on the road.

Any other significant road closures I should know about happening at the same time?

Yes- the A4061 - a main road running through the middle of the Rhondda, is set to close for two weeks next month.

That closure could also cause chaos, this time for those travelling between Treorchy and Treherbert, as around half a mile of the A4061 Ynyswen Road, used by thousands of motorists, will shut for a fortnight.

What are the new bus arrangements for the Maerdy Mountain Road closure?

Rhondda Cynon Taf council has made arrangements with bus operator Stagecoach for the running of the 172 service between Aberdare and Porthcawl during the closure of Maerdy Mountain Road.

Journeys on service 172 will continue to run between Maerdy and Porthcawl, with some timing changes.

As well as that, a shuttle service, 172C, will operate to and from Aberdare Bus Station, connecting with the 172 service at Tonypandy Bus Station for journeys to and from Tonyrefail, Bridgend and Porthcawl, and Penrhys, Ferndale and Maerdy.

The council said departures from Aberdare Bus Station will be earlier and journey times will be increased. Both the 172 and 172C services, in both directions, will wait at Tonypandy Bus Station to ensure all connections are made.

Ticketing arrangements are in place to ensure customers will still pay the normal fares.
What does the council say about it?

Councillor Andrew Morgan, leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf council and cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said: “The works at Maerdy Mountain Road are essential following the landslip in December 2015, and a full road closure is necessary due to large machinery being required to carry out the works. The council has also chosen to carry out further significant improvements to the carriageway through #RCTinvest.

“The council has worked closely with Stagecoach to ensure people who rely upon the 172 service can still access it during the Maerdy Mountain Road works.”

Additionally, as a result of a successful bid for Welsh Government Road Safety Funding Grant, the scheme will also include a range of improvements to the safety of the route such as hazard markings, road re-marking and new reflective roadstuds

Community hub plan for St Mair's Day Centre, Aberdare

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is working with Age Connects Morgannwg (ACM), the local older people’s charity, to expand the provision at St Mair’s Day Centre

A report recommends Cabinet agrees to ACM undertaking a consultation process, ahead of developing a Big Lottery bid for £1.1m to redevelop St Mair’s. It also recommends a report is brought to Cabinet during September 2017, when Members will discuss whether a 99-year lease for St Mair’s is granted to ACM through the RCT Together approach.

ACM has already received a £48,000 Big Lottery grant to develop plans for the hub. If the £1.1m bid is successful, the Council will transfer the building to ACM through the capital asset transfer process.

Councillor Geraint Hopkins, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult and Children’s Community Services, said: “This project could completely transform St Mair’s Day Centre, by wholly expanding the offer and support for older people who use this important service.

“If Age Connect Morgannwg’s bid for substantial funding is successful, the Council would transfer the building and site through the capital asset transfer process – the RCT Together approach which has proved successful time and again. By working with communities and the voluntary sector, the Council can explore alternative delivery of services while securing their future.

“A decision on whether Big Lottery funding is granted for the proposal is expected during Feburary 2018, and it could see work progress on Cynon Linc by late summer next year.

“The services currently offered at St Mair’s Day Centre are already valued and this proposal seeks to build upon this provision and deliver a much wider range of services which better reflect the needs and expectations of local residents.

“This is an incredibly ambitious proposal, the first of its kind in Wales, which could transform the provision offered from this location to the wider Cynon Valley.”

St. Mairs Day Centre currently provides a lunch service to residents over the age of 50. It also houses the Meals on Wheels production kitchen, which cooks and delivers meals to people across the Cynon Valley.

ACM’s community hub is an opportunity for the Council to enhance its existing service at St Mair’s. The hub would be called Cynon Linc, and would provide older people with activities throughout the day – from arts and crafts to education classes, gardening, concerts and films. It would also have a sensory room for people with dementia, alongside a dementia cafe.

Cynon Linc would include a social enterprise bistro providing healthy meals and snacks, which would be open to the whole community. There would be a community space for local groups to hire, alongside a hall for events.

The building would house the head office of Age Connects Morgannwg so people can easily access its services – including Community Outreach, Befriending, and an Information and Advice team offering general and specialist advice for older people.

Childcare provision for up to 20 children would also be provided.

The plans would see the potential relocation of the Meals on Wheels service currently operated from St Mair’s.

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