M4 Junction 34 to A48 Transport Improvements

Improving Strategic Transport Encompassing Corridors from M4 Junction 34 to the A48 at Sycamore Cross Highway Link Study – WelTAG Stage Two Plus (Outline Business Case)

This consultation will take place between Wednesday 30 September and Wednesday 23 December 2020. 

 

The Study, which includes an outline business case and impact assessment, is considering potential highway options for improving strategic connectivity in the corridor from M4 Junction 34 to the A48 at Sycamore Cross, which includes Pendoylan.

 

The consultation is an important step in the Welsh Transport Planning and Appraisal Guidance (WelTAG) Stage Two Plus Outline Business Case study, which Arcadis Consulting (UK) Limited is undertaking on behalf of the Vale of Glamorgan Council. 

 

The options presented have no status. They have been developed as a basis for consultation. This follows completion on of the WelTAG Stage Two study, in October 2018, and recommendations made by the Review Group of key stakeholders and the Vale of Glamorgan Council Environment and Regeneration on Scrutiny Committee, with endorsement to consult on the next stage provided by the Council’s Cabinet.


As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020, the future medium to longer-term implications of Covid-19 at a local, regional, and national level remain extensively unknown and the Stage Two Plus study has not therefore made any assumptions as to the impacts on these scenarios. The appraisal therefore remains based on pre Covid-19 conditions, although future assessment will need to consider any further implication as information, trends and impacts become more widely known and accepted.


We are seeking feedback on the possible options to support this process.  Whilst the project is still in the very early concept design stages, we want to ensure you have the opportunity to share your views.

We want to be as open and clear as we can about what will happen next and help everyone, including landowners and occupiers, understand the potential implications of the project. 

 

It is important to note that a preferred route has not yet been chosen and therefore no land impact is confirmed. However, as the project has progressed through an enhanced WelTAG Stage Two Plus phase, we want to make sure that you have the full opportunity to receive information and to review and comment on the potential options. 

 

It is also worth noting that any preferred route would still be subject to minor adjustment and variation as the designs are taken forward. If necessary, we would discuss changes to the route with landowners, occupiers and other affected parties prior to carrying out any Stage Three statutory consultation for the project and before submitting any planning application.

 

 

How can I share my views?

Given the current Covid-19 restrictions and our duty to protect our communities, we are not holding face to face public consultation events to outline the WelTAG Stage Two Plus proposals.

 

However, we are keen to get your feedback and have in place a few ways you can do this. These are: 

 

If you require a hard copy of the feedback form please contact us via:

To request one. Completed hard copy feedback forms should be returned to The Vale of Glamorgan Council, The Alps Depot, Quarry Road, Wenvoe, CF5 6AA.

 

Please note that we must receive all feedback by Wednesday 23rd December 2020.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the study?
    The Council is working with Arcadis Consulting (UK) Limited, an independent technical consultant, to develop proposals for a new road linking the M4, Junction 34 to the A48 at Sycamore Cross. Proposals for a new Gateway (formerly Parkway) Railway Station with park and ride facilities at Junction 34 of the M4 now form part of a separate WelTAG study.
  • What is a WelTAG study? 

    WelTAG is the Welsh Government’s framework for the development, appraisal and evaluation of proposed transport projects in Wales. Any schemes requiring public money need to be developed using the process. The five stages of WelTAG are:

     

    Stage One | Strategic Outline Case
    Stage Two | Outline Business Case
    Stage Three | Full Business Case
    Stage Four | Implementation
    Stage Five | Post Implementation
    We are currently consulting on an updated Stage Two study, called Stage Two Plus, following further investigations and design changes to the options. 
  • What are the potential options? 
    The study is considering the following four highway options, in comparison to the Do-Minimum (without a highway link improvement):
    M4 Junction 34 to A48 | Option A – Highway Route East of Pendoylan
    M4 Junction 34 to A48 | Option B – Highway Route West of Pendoylan
    M4 Junction 34 to A48 | Option C1 – Existing Infrastructure (Online) Enhancement
    M4 Junction 34 to A48 | Option C2 – Existing Infrastructure (Online) Enhancement
    Options C1 and C2, which consider two design options for improvement to the existing road, have been assessed following requests from the local community.
  • Is there a need for this road? 
    The WelTAG Stage Two Plus study includes a case for change within the Strategic Case assessment, a summary of which has been included as part of the public consultation. Whilst improved accessibility to Cardiff airport remains a key benefit of an enhanced strategic highway link between Junction 34 of the M4 and the A48 at Sycamore Cross, other significant benefits have also been identified encompassing improved access to the existing Cardiff Airport and St. Athan Enterprise Zones, strengthening accessibility to local employment and business opportunities for the areas west of Cardiff and north in the A4119 corridor, establishing improved network resilience between the Vale and the wider Cardiff Capital Region, and the potential for improved public transport, walking and cycling links in the area.
  • What will happen if you do nothing? (referenced as the Do Minimum scenario in the WelTAG Stage Two Plus technical reports). 

    Should no action be taken, the limited availability of funding and resources is unlikely to make a step difference in overcoming the problems identified as part of the WelTAG study, including poor highway infrastructure and resilience between Junction 34 of the M4 and the A48 leading to poor access for local communities and businesses, poor sustainable access to Cardiff Airport and strategic destinations, poor infrastructure and local connectivity by walking and cycling, and existing congestion issues which are likely to worsen with the committed developments in the area. 

     

    Under a Do Minimum scenario, the assessment shows a further deterioration in the performance of the road network with increased traffic flows by 2036 on the key routes of the M4 between Junction 33 and Junction 35, and between Junction 33 and Culverhouse Cross. The A48 west of Sycamore Cross and the Pendoylan corridor is also anticipated to see an increase in traffic flows. The existing problems would therefore be significantly exacerbated. Transport problems are likely to impact on development aspirations for the area and the attractiveness of the Vale of Glamorgan as a place to work, live and invest.
  • As a result of Covid-19 there are more people working from home and less people travelling by air. Is there still a need to continue this study? 
    As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020, the future medium to longer-term implications at a local, regional, and national level remain extensively unknown and the Stage Two Plus study has not made any assumptions as to the impacts on these scenarios. The appraisal therefore remains based on pre Covid-19 conditions, although future assessment will need to consider any further implications as information, trends and impacts become more widely known and accepted.  Current trends suggest a return towards pre Covid-19 traffic levels overall, particularly for access to employment in the types of businesses that would see improved access where people cannot work from home.
  • If a road is going to be built, when would this happen? 
    The options presented have no status and have been developed as a basis for consultation only – the options therefore remain at the concept design stage. Development of a proposed implementation programme remains subject to a preferred option being taken forward to WelTAG Stage Three (Full Business Case), detailed design and a planning application. Building the route would also be reliant on funding.
  • How will this affect the value of my property? 
    The options presented have no status and have been developed as a basis for consultation only – the options therefore remain at the concept design stage. The full impacts on properties and for landowners would be considered at the next stage of appraisal, subject to a preferred option being taken forward to WelTAG Stage Three (Full Business Case), detailed design and planning.
  • If affected will my home be subject to a Compulsory Purchase Order? 
    The options presented have no status and have been developed as a basis for consultation only – the options therefore remain at the concept design stage. The full impacts on properties and for landowners would be considered at the next stage of appraisal, subject to a preferred option being taken forward to WelTAG Stage Three (Full Business Case), detailed design and planning.
  • If the road is built, will I be entitled to compensation? 
    The options presented have no status and have been developed as a basis for consultation only – the options therefore remain at the concept design stage. The full impacts on properties and for landowners would be considered at the next stage of appraisal, subject to a preferred option being taken forward to WelTAG Stage Three (Full Business Case), detailed design and planning.
  • Will this study show up on searches if I try to sell my house now?
    The options presented have no status and have been developed as a basis for consultation only – the options therefore remain at the concept design stage.
  • What are the environmental impacts if the road is built? 
    The WelTAG Stage Two Plus study has completed an enhanced environmental appraisal for each of the four highway options, whereby a number of impacts have been assessed. With respect to biodiversity for example, online options C1 and C2 perform better than offline options A (eastern route) and B (western route). Full details of the environmental appraisal are included within the technical reports.
  • If the road is built how many vehicles will use it and will it free up capacity on other areas of the local and strategic road network? 
    We have used the South East Wales Transport Model (SEWTM) to calculate scheme benefits of a new route (either east or west). The forecast traffic for the PM peak (highest peak) in 2036 presents considerable benefits across the road network, details of which are outlined in the accompanying Impacts Assessment Report. We would expect benefits to increase with refinements to modelling in a Stage Three study removing the stagger in the A48 Sycamore Cross junction, improving M4 Junction 34 and considering wider economic impacts. This work was done for the Stage Two Study and is intended to be updated for a Full Business Case if an option is taken forward.
  • If this road is built is it done solely to serve the airport? 
    The WelTAG Stage Two Plus study includes a case for change as part of the Strategic Case assessment, a summary of which has been included as part of the public consultation. Whilst improved accessibility to Cardiff airport remains a key benefit of an enhanced strategic highway link between Junction 34 of the M4 and the A48 at Sycamore Cross, other significant benefits have also been identified encompassing improved access to the existing Cardiff Airport and St. Athan Enterprise Zones, strengthening accessibility to local employment and business opportunities for the areas west of Cardiff and the A4119 corridor, establishing improved network resilience between the Vale and the wider Cardiff Capital Region, and the potential for improved public transport, walking and cycling links in the area.
  • How can I object to this road being built? 
    Your feedback is important to us, and we would encourage you to please leave comments to inform the conclusions of the WelTAG Stage Two Plus study. This can be done by completing the feedback form, contacting us by phone on 01446 700111, or sending an email to Junction34Transportstudyconsultation@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk.
  • How much is a new road going to cost? 

    The WelTAG Stage Two Plus total scheme costs are summarised as follows, with the supporting technical documents including full details of the value for money exercise and Financial Case for the highway options.

    Option A | Highway Route East of Pendoylan - £76.844M

    Option B | Highway Route West of Pendoylan - £66.332M

    Option C1 | Existing Infrastructure (Online) Enhancement - £59.844M

    Option C2 | Existing Infrastructure (Online) Enhancement - £40.513M

     

  • How is the WelTAG Stage Two Plus consultation being promoted? 

    Letters have been sent to both landowners who could be impacted by the proposed routes and addresses within 250 metres of the study area.  In addition, signs have been put up in surrounding villages and all community councils have been made aware of the consultation, with those in the study area provided with information they can put in their information boards.  

     

    A press release will be issued to the local press in line with the start of the consultation period. The consultation will also be promoted through the Council’s social media channels, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. A list of stakeholders has been identified, which includes local residents, businesses, community groups and community councils, all of whom will be contacted at the start of the consultation period to inform them of the consultation. 

  •  Vale of Glamorgan Gateway Station WelTAG Stage Two Outline Business Study

    On 30 November 2020 the Council's Cabinet will consider a report which has been referred from the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committe on the WelTAG Stage Two Outline Business Case Study on a Gateway Station for the Vale of Glamorgan. 

     

     

Next Steps

Following the receipt of all feedback, we will be reporting back to the assigned Review Group, who will consider the report and recommend what should happen next to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Cabinet. If one or more of the options go forward, and there is funding available, the next stage will be the preparation of a Full Business Case (WelTAG Stage Three). The purpose of Stage Three is to make a full and detailed assessment of the preferred option to inform a decision as to whether or not to proceed to implementation.