A465 road

A465 road

UK road routebox
road= A465
length-mi= 66
direction= West-East
start= Llandarcy
destinations= Neath
Merthyr Tydfil
end= Bromyard, Herefordshire
junctions= ukmotorwaysmall|4
The A465 is a major road in south Wales. It is more commonly known as the Heads of the Valleys Road because it joins together the north ends (or 'heads') of the South Wales Valleys. It is considered to be the unofficial border between the industrial, densely populated South Wales and the rural, mountainous, agricultural, less populated Mid Wales.

The Route

The A465 runs south west from Bromyard towards Hereford. It joins the road A4103 just before Hereford. It starts again at Hereford, continues to Abergavenny and Brynmawr, then continues along the heads of the valleys, past Ebbw Vale, Tredegar, Rhymney, Merthyr Tydfil and Hirwaun and Glynneath. Near Glynneath, the road heads down along the floor of the Vale of Neath bypassing Resolven, Neath and Skewen before terminating at its junction with the M4 motorway, junction 43, at Llandarcy.

Up until 1996, the A465 crossed the Vale of Neath in what is now designated the B4242 between Glynnneath and Aberdulais. The high Car accident rate on this stretch was one of the factors leading to the new dual carriageway section, the "Missing Link" being constructed. The A465 is now a dual carriageway all the way between Hirwaun and Llandarcy. [http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1992/jun/08/a465] [http://eclecs.blogspot.com/2006/07/where-is-resolfen.html]

High Point at 1,350 ft

The highest point (signposted) of 1350ft (450 m) is on the Ebbw Vale section. It now has a new dual carriageway and slip roads between Dowlais Top and Tredegar via Rhymney. At Dowlais Top there are link roads such as the A4060, which runs down to the south end of Merthyr Tydfil and links with the A470, and the A4054 which goes through Merthyr Vale and Aberfan. Another link is the A4102 which leads into Dowlais and Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre. Finally, the A465 passes Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil (great view of Pen Y Fan from here) then continues to Cefn Coed y cymmer (North End of Merthyr Tydfil) then leads to the A470 link and then continues down the west side of the valley to Neath.

Major Upgrade Scheme

In 1994, the possibility was raised of upgrading the whole of the A465 to 2-lane dual carriageway standard with grade-separated junctions (and extra climbing lanes on certain hills) between Abergavenny and Hirwaun, a 25 mile (40 km) stretch connecting the existing A465 dual-carriageway link to Swansea and the M4 motorway to the A40 which is an important part of the link to the M50 motorway and much of England.

Much of the land on the route is undulating, but despite this, the preferred route alignment is considered to be high standard and will allow most of the route to have the national speed limit applying (i.e. 70 mph for cars, 60 mph for coaches and 50 mph for HGVs.)

The scheme was split up into 7 sections, with sections 6 and 7 later being combined into a single scheme for the purposes of construction. The Upgrade sections are:
#Abergavenny to Gilwern
#Gilwern to Brynmawr
#Brynmawr to Tredegar
#Tredegar to Dowlais Top
#Dowlais Top to A470 Junction
#A470 Junction to Baverstock's
#Baverstock's to Hirwaun

The section between Llandarcy and Hirwaun is already dual carriageway. Construction works began on section 4 (Tredegar to Dowlais Top) in early Spring 2002, and were completed by November 2004. Construction of section 1 (Abergavenny to Gilwern) began in February 2005. This section is a largely on-line upgrade of the existing single-carriageway road. This section was completed on 22nd May 2008.

The other sections do not have fixed start dates. Sections 2 (Gilwern to Brynmawr) and 3 (Brynmawr to Tredegar) are likely to be next to be constructed. The whole dualling scheme is not expected to be completed before 2015.

External links

* [http://www.a465dualling1.co.uk/ A465 dualling scheme]
* [http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/transport/roads/NewRoads1/A465/?lang=en Welsh Assembly Government: A465 dualling scheme]

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