Traffic lights cause chaos in middle of Valleys town

-Credit: (Image: Ruth Bartlett-Jones)
-Credit: (Image: Ruth Bartlett-Jones)

Ongoing work at the former Bingo Hall site in the middle of Pontypridd is causing traffic chaos, with long queues in both directions being reported. Motorists say traffic has been a problem on the A4058 since work began in February to redevelop the site into a "public realm space" and accommodate new bus bays, but residents' complaints reached a new height on Monday, July 8 when temporary four-way traffic lights were installed.

Last month, Rhondda Cynon Taf council announced new traffic arrangements that would be put in place for July, with the temporary traffic lights scheduled to be used from Monday, July 8 to Thursday, July 11. One motorist, Ruth Bartlett-Jones, said she was stuck in the traffic just before 10am on Monday morning when she saw an ambulance get held up for around three to four minutes before it could eventually pass through on the other side of the road.

She said: "It was really worrying. The timing of the temporary traffic lights are so out of sync. They added to the issue as they are too delayed. The ambulance waited but as no help came to assist with the lights, they moved over to the other side of the road when traffic cleared that side. Just such a worry as every seconds counts with emergency services."

Read more: Vital valleys road to shut for 5 months for major repairs
Read more: Sudden death of man outside Cardiff house sparks police investigation

Bex Phillips also suggested that the syncing of lights has been causing delays. She described Pontypridd on Tuesday as "mayhem", with traffic backed up along the A4058 into Trehafod. Bex said as she works 12-hour shifts in care, she is frustrated by the extra time it is taking her to get to and from work.

On Monday evening at 8pm, she described Pontypridd as being "quiet as anything" but despite this says she was "sat at the traffic lights for 20 mins with no traffic coming from either junctions". For the latest Pontypridd news, sign up to our newsletter here

Pontypridd is due to hold the National Eisteddfod next month and residents are concerned that their traffic troubles will get even worse during that time. The council has warned that roads in and around Pontypridd are expected to be "much busier than usual during the week", with attendees advised not to drive into the town centre.

Pontypridd MP Alex-Davies Jones responded to drivers' concerns about the traffic lights on Facebook. She said: "Hi everyone, I fully understand your frustration with the current traffic situation. I've looked into it and it appears that the traffic lights are working as intended. However, the tailbacks are mainly due to the unavoidable lane closure at this time. Please try to plan your journeys ahead to minimise delays. Your patience is greatly appreciated during this time. If you have any concerns or need assistance, don't hesitate to get in touch."

A Rhondda Cynon Taf Council spokesperson said: “We understand residents frustrations, and thank them for their continued patience while the works are ongoing. We have spoken with the contractors around concerns and where possible they will actively work to alleviate congestion around the site.

“We are entering the final phase of the work, which are making good progress. Whilst the works look set to be completed by the end of the month, current traffic management arrangements will evolve over the coming days and the impact on traffic should reduce.”