18/08/2012

Synod Inn road upgrade to start



Work to upgrade three kilometres of the A486 between Synod Inn and Llandysul in Ceredigion is due to start at the beginning of September.

The road, which, for many in Ceredigion, is the main link to Carmarthen and beyond, will be straightened along what is currently a winding, narrow stretch and widened to 7.3m from the current 5 to 6.5m.

Many environmentalists are instinctively opposed to road improvements of this kind, arguing that they inevitably increase traffic. However it’s not all bad from their point of view. I’ve always thought the worst thing about this route is the complete lack of pavement for long stretches on such a narrow A-road. The upgraded road will include a continuous two metre pavement on one side.

It is sometimes said that there’s little need for a pavement in such a sparsely populated area, but that’s no consolation to those who do walk and cycle these routes, who are extremely vulnerable to passing traffic. 

My personal preference on these kinds of rural main roads in future is for a shared use cycle/footway along one side. An official shared use path has to be 3m wide, which this intended pavement isn’t. The route was designed years ago and it’s now too late to re-negotiate with neighbouring landowners. However Highways Officers argue that widening the road by up to 2.3m does allow cars to give cyclists a wide berth. I’m not sure about that but at least there should be little problem with cyclists using a pavement with relatively few pedestrians.

The work due to start soon is to the 1.5km section of road between Post Bach and the house known as Llain. The next section, from Llain the rest of the way up to Synod Inn, is still awaiting funding but this is only a matter of time.

Work is also taking place on putting together an application for a ‘transport hub’ at Synod Inn for connecting bus services. A planning application for this is expected by the end of the year.

9 comments:

  1. Km? I'm sorry i thought in the UK which I believe Wales is still a part of, uses Miles not Kilometers?

    You have now lost my vote in 4 years. I thought you was a good politician but I now see you are like the rest and get Wales into failing Europe like the rest of them.

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  2. I prefer km - makes much more sense.

    In any case. I'm glad there's sorting out this route - it's dangerous, especially when you get strong wind and rain from the sea, which happens quite often.

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  3. PEREDUR WIGGINSAugust 19, 2012

    Some highway rules are daft and the officials who impose them rely on rule books and not common sense. They say that an official shared use path (pedestrians and cyclists) has to be 3m (10ft) wide. Why? I can see that may be necessary in towns where there is a steady flow of pedestrians but on the road from Synod Inn . . . come off it! Stand up to the road engineers, Alun, and insist that a 3-6ft pavement is quite adequate and safe! The cycle routes from town to Llanbadarn and Penybont are not 10ft wide are they?

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  4. Anon 1
    I haven't got a particular issue with miles/kilometres (maybe I should). I just used kilometres in this piece because that's the measurement used by the highways engineers and it seemed simpler than saying 1.86 miles. I'm sure I'll use miles again in the future.

    Peredur
    The current rules can't be wished away and they're not set by Ceredigion. The Llanbadarn cycle paths are actually that wide. However, as I said (in the spirit of your comment), there should be little problem with cyclists using a pavement with relatively few pedestrians.

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  5. While I prefer straight roads (you get less sick), I'm not sure they are safer for cyclists. They allow cars to go faster.

    Is the visibility increased?

    If the road is not officially wide enough for cyclists, will the police give cyclists trouble for riding down it?

    I'm sure those who like walking their dogs will see the benefits, but I'm not sure cyclists will.

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  6. While I prefer straight roads (you get less sick), I'm not sure they are safer for cyclists. They allow cars to go faster.

    Is the visibility increased?

    If the road is not officially wide enough for cyclists, will the police give cyclists trouble for riding down it?

    I'm sure those who like walking their dogs will see the benefits, but I'm not sure cyclists will.

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  7. PEREDUR WIGGINSSeptember 04, 2012

    Sorry to nit-pick Alun but the Llanbadarn cycle path is not 3m wide. I've just been to check. There are shared cycle paths e.g. Leisure Centre to Plascrug and along Boulevard St Brieuc which are less than 3m and I'm not aware that these shared paths are considered hazzardous. I accept that 'current rules can't be wished away,' but they should be challenged when they go against good judgement. You are right to promote shared use cycle/footways on rural roads - let's start at Synod Inn.

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  8. A wider road does not make it safer for cyclists. It makes it easier for vehicles to squeeze past, even when there are oncoming vehicles, and they will do so at higher speeds leaving less space. Nerve wracking enough for experienced cyclists, let alone anybody else. As for shared use paths, they are a token gesture and I believe they often create more tension between road users and pedestrians. Damned if you use them, damned if you don't. The paths need to be segregated and priority given to the cyclists at minor junctions and driveways as they do on the continent, not stopped and dumped down a kerb every 50 metres. Yes it costs money, but the benefit is recouped in a healthier population who have more disposable income as they won't have to spend it all on fuel.

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  9. Great that they've done this work, but whoever CCC got in to do the tarmacing were a bunch of cowboys. Even travelling in a car with decent suspension it feels like riding the ocean wave, and in a lorry it's even worse. I know it's saving money etc, but two patches have had to be relaid it seems, which must be eating into the savings made by going for the cheapest contractor. I hope they were the cheapest anyway.

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