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Llanbradach councillors urge review of by-pass closures following fire

Published in News at 09:00, Monday May 21st, 2012.

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Councillors in Llanbradach have called on Gwent Police to look at ways of reducing the time a busy by-pass is shut during major incidents after a fire caused huge traffic backlogs last week.

Last week 200 tonnes of recyclable building waste went up in flames at a fire on the Dyffryn Business Park near Ystrad Mynach. As dire crews battled to bring the blaze under control, the A469 between Ystrad Mynach and Llanbradach was closed for several hours due to thick smoke.

Plaid Cymru councillors Colin Mann and Rob Gough, who represent Llanbradach, have now called on Gwent Police to look at ways of minimising the road’s closure in such instances.

Councillor Mann, who was last week elected the new leader of the Plaid group, said: “Councillor Gough and I receive a lot of reaction from residents about the gridlock in the village which happens when the dual carriageway is shut due to an incident. Closures mean all traffic that would have used the A469 ends up trying to get through the village.”

Councillor Gough remarked: “I have spoken to people who took more than two hours to travel just a couple of miles that day. It causes a huge amount of frustration for everyone.

“We recognise that sometimes closures are totally unavoidable for safety reasons such as black, acrid smoke blowing across the carriageway, as happened with the fire on the business park.

“But we are asking Gwent Police to look at possible ways of minimising the length of road closures. Are there, for instance, safe ways of using one half of the carriageway to allow traffic to proceed under control, reducing delays and economic loss?”

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