Many residents of Radyr and Morganstown will be all too familiar with the roadworks at the junction of Heol Isaf and Llantrisant Road.
The traffic cones; the temporary lights; the random traffic queues; the occasional minor alteration to the route; the big yellow tractors; the bumpy roads...
Will it ever end?!
Sometimes, it can look as if the roadworks are almost done. We can see the shape of the new junction. Posts have been installed, to hold the new road signs. Kerbstones have been laid...
Surely, all that remains is to install the proposed traffic lights, connect them to the electricity supply, lay some more tarmac - and we're done?
However, there is much more to this than meets the eye.
We spoke with Plasdwr about progress - and this is what we've learned.
This is not a simple task. On the contrary, this is highly complex.
Connecting Plasdŵr to life's vital services is going to take some time. And it will happen at several places along Llantrisant Road, between Radyr and the western boundary of Plasdŵr.
To make matters even more complicated, Plasdŵr will involve several house-building companies - all working to their own timescales. And as each tranche of houses is developed, it will need its own supply of water, electricity, gas, communications - and a sewerage system. And, from time to time, an SUD will be required (a sustainable drainage system) which will involve roadside works - and associated pipes and services that may also need to cross Llantrisant Road.
As you can see from the list of vital services, this work will involve many different companies (such as Welsh Water, BT and several other utility providers). All working to different timescales - and all needling the appropriate planning permissions and licenses from the appropriate authorities.
So the bad news is that we face many years of roadworks along Llantrisant Road, with the Heol Isaf / Llantrisant Road junction being the first of many - to be followed closely by changes to the Clos Parc Radyr junction.
Both of these junctions will end up controlled by traffic lights. Cardiff Council has assured us that the timing of the lights will be adjusted and fine-tuned to give Radyr and Clos Parc Radyr residents enough of a green-light period to move out onto Llantrisant Road. We will monitor this in due course.
However, when the traffic lights are installed at the end of Heol Isaf, they won't be switched on until Cardiff Council agrees it is the right time to do so. They may, for instance, want the Clos Parc Radur traffic lights in place as well, before both sets of lights are turned on (to better control traffic flow). As we wait for them to be switched on, we may see a temporary roundabout installed at the Heol Isaf junction.
And the timing of all this?
It's difficult to predict, apparently - given the number of services to be installed at several locations - and the number of companies involved. We can, however, except to have to wait until mid 2020 before the majority of the Heol Isaf junction is completed. That's another 12 months of roadworks!
Not the best news, regrettably. And with the Clos Parc Radur junction works yet to begin, we can expect to be navigating these roadworks for a long time to come.
And what will this lead to?
Plasdŵr will bring more traffic, that's for sure. But we are promised:
Only time will tell, however, to what extent these developments will help ease traffic in and around Radyr and Morganstown.
There will be some positive developments. Including four new schools. And Plasdŵr’s propsed 'district centre' will offer employment opportunities - as well as providing us with a new retail centre, with a range of large and smaller stores to serve both Plasdŵr and its neighbouring communities. So we won't have to travel as far to visit a large supermarket, to stock up on life's essentials.
The district centre will be focused around a central square with community, health and leisure facilities - with the potential for new cafés, restaurants and pubs. Although work on the deisgn concept has begun (see here), work on the final design for the centre has yet to be started - with construction a number of year’s away.
At the end of the day, Plasdŵr will be a 15 to 20 year development. Not all of it will be built on our doorstep - so we won't see all of the mud and tractors - but life in our corner of the capital city will change for ever.
In the meantime, if you have a problem (with mud, noise, mess, stones in the road, faulty temporary traffic lights etc) or any other concerns (such as what will happen to the remaining hedgerows and trees) you can contact Katie Powis, Community Liaison Manager, for Plasdŵr on 07741 194199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, of course, you can attend the drop-in sessions that Plasdŵr arranges in Radyr, from time to time.
In the meantime, if you have any comments about this article - or about Plasdŵr, you can post them below.