A NEW footpath designed to protect pedestrians and cyclists crossing a bridge between Pontarddulais and Grovesend has opened
The bridge at Pentre Road has been closed to traffic for a number of months because its owner Network Rail has been completing essential repairs and upgrades to protect it for future generations.
It has now re-opened and returning drivers will see that in the last few weeks Swansea Council has also constructed a pavement across the bridge so that, for the first time, pedestrians can cross it safely.
It’s hoped that in time the new bridge layout will form part of a wider Active Travel walking and cycling route between Pontarddulais and Grovesend.
The move means the current two-way road layout will be reduced to a one-lane route with traffic controls in place as part of the scheme to control vehicle movements in each direction.
Initially, the single lane will be managed by temporary traffic lights which will be replaced by permanent ones later.
Stuart Davies, Head of Highways and Transportation, said that the route across the bridge was quite narrow and there had never been a safe path for pedestrians to use when crossing it.
At the same time surveys by the council showed that average speeds across the bridge were well above the 30mph limit and lives could be put at risk unless something was done to protect pedestrians.
Mr. Davies said:
“We know some motorists don’t welcome traffic lights. But in this instance, there are important benefits in having a footway across the bridge that will keep people safer and reduce traffic speed while not unduly affecting drivers.
“The route has become much more popular with walkers during the lockdown and we have identified a need to put measures in place that protects pedestrians.”
While the measures will slow the speed of traffic using the road and crossing the bridge, traffic surveys and modeling by the council suggest that even when it is busy waiting at the traffic lights should not add long queues to motorists’ driving times in the area.
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