RCT Council has reached an important landmark in its remediation of the Tylorstown landslip, by completing two major phases of work which have enabled local walking and cycling routes to reopen to the public.
The landslip occurred on the Llanwonno hillside at Tylorstown during Storm Dennis in February 2020, when Rhondda Cynon Taf endured record rainfall and suffered its most severe flooding since the 1970s. The landslip, consisting of 60,000 tonnes of spoil material, blocked the river valley, damaged a foul sewer, covered a strategic water main and covered a footpath/cycle path.
Significant progress continues to be made towards the four-phase Tylorstown Landslip Remediation Plan. Working closely with contractor Walters Ltd, the Council has now completed embankment scour repairs as well as the removal of slipped material to receptor sites and the reinstatement of footpaths, allowing two of these local routes to reopen (Phases Two and Three).
Local Walking and Cycling Routes
Completion of this work has allowed the two walking and cycling routes on the Leisure Centre side of the river to reopen (as indicated on the image above) – connecting to the local network of paths running through the area. The path to the rear of the leisure centre which has been part of the contractor’s site compound – and the riverside path which was completely covered by the slip – have both been reinstated and can now safely reopen.
The third route running through the area, on the opposite side of the river, has been repaired but will remain closed as there are future phases of work to stabilise the hillside above. Residents are asked to observe the fencing and signs which are placed in this area to indicate the closure.
While the closure area for this path is around 1.5km, the wider route it forms a part of is open and can be accessed from Station Road in Ferndale. When walkers and cyclists reach the downriver closure point, they will be able to change to one of the recently-reopened paths via an existing footbridge, which cyclists must dismount to cross. The Council intends to reopen all routes in the future.
Next Steps of the Remediation Plan
There will be some initial stabilisation work above the path this summer, while a pre-planning application consultation exercise will take place in the coming weeks to inform a full planning submission for Phase Four – the remediation of the remaining tip on the hillside. The Council will communicate details in due course, including how residents can take part in the process.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “Today’s announcement, that Phases Two and Three of the Tylorstown landslip remediation are complete, is a further positive step towards the long-term project to rectify the landslip. It follows recent landmarks on site such as the removal of the slipped material from the valley floor, the reinstatement of the river to its correct line and level and a series of drainage works.
“I’m pleased that two of the three shared footpaths running through the site have now been fully-reopened – with the third also partly reinstated. This path, which is the one nearest the hillside, remains closed at the landslip site, but a timber footbridge enables access to the path on the other side of the river. It is important to add that the Council intends to reopen all local routes in the future.
“Looking forward to Phase Four, the Council is making preparations to submit a full planning application to carry out remediation of the remaining hillside material, along with community route and riverside park enhancements. A public consultation will take place this summer to inform the application – and, if it is successful, this phase of work could take place next year.
“The Council has also previously made a commitment to undertake further works to create an Active Travel Community Route between Maerdy and Pontygwaith, following on from Phase Four. This future vision would utilise the riverside park at Tylorstown, while several repair or replacement schemes would be completed to structures along this route.”