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Work to start transforming Pontypridd former bingo hall site

Credit: RCT Council

Important work starts next week to develop the former Pontypridd bingo hall site into a vibrant public realm space, and construct bus bays to serve the southern end of the town centre. Here’s all you need to know about the scheme.

Construction will start on Monday, February 5, and is due for completion this summer, following previous work to demolish the site and prepare it for development. The project will provide a quality public realm area – acting as a clear arrival point at the southern end of the town centre. The open space will include clear way-finding signs and visitor information, seating areas, and areas of greenery and planting. A small food/drink outlet will also be included on the site in the future.

The site will provide a safe pedestrian route from Sardis Road into the town centre – well-located for train users arriving in Pontypridd. The new bus bays will be positioned on the site’s boundary with Sardis Road, and a separate seating area will also be provided for bus users.

The new bus bays are being prioritised for delivery in time for Pontypridd and Rhondda Cynon Taf to host the National Eisteddfod for Wales in August 2024.

The Council has secured funding from Welsh Government for the construction phase via the Transforming Towns initiative – on top of funding previously announced for the site demolition. The new bus bays are funded via the Welsh Government Regional Transport Fund.

Traffic and pedestrian arrangements from February 5

Knights Brown have been appointed to deliver the work, and the contractor requires a series of temporary measures to make progress while ensuring safety for the public and the workforce. Please note that pedestrian access to High Street, from the south, will be retained at all times. The measures include:

  • The closure of the Sardis Road pedestrian island (February 5-21), located on the A4058 between the train station and the bingo hall site. An alternative route for pedestrians is to use the formal crossing point near the railway station bridge, and then cross the A4058 using the pedestrian island near The Tumble Inn. This route will be clearly signposted.
  • A lane and footway closure on Sardis Road, next to the bingo hall site (February 21 to early summer 2024), replicating the arrangements used in late 2023 for site preparations. The closure is essential to ensure safety and enable the proper management of site access by a dedicated individual. Work will also be undertaken on or very close to the highway’s outside lane, to adjust the kerb profile for the future movement of buses. Associated work to the signals and ducts will also be completed.
  • The closure of High Street to vehicles on Sunday, February 18. Work will include service connections and resurfacing activity – further details about this closure will be communicated by the Council in due course.

These traffic arrangements are essential to safely build the new bus bays, in order for their completion in time for the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Councillor Mark Norris, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Development and Prosperity, said: “The start of the construction phase represents a major landmark for this strategic scheme, to bring the old bingo hall and Angharad’s Nightclub site back into use. Site preparations that were completed before Christmas have ensured the area is ready for development, and work on the public realm and the new bus bays will begin on February 5.

“The public realm is an exciting project and was one of the best-supported ideas when the Council consulted residents on how best to redevelop the site. It will provide a quality gateway to the town improving on what we currently have, while retaining the natural light and the town centre views that were exposed when the buildings were demolished. It is anticipated this will be a busy space with a food outlet and seating areas, as well as a key link to access public transport – with both the train station and the new bus bays located nearby.

“These are very exciting times for Pontypridd – we’ve recently had the 200-day countdown to the town hosting the 2024 National Eisteddfod for Wales – while our regeneration investment continues at pace under the Pontypridd Placemaking Plan. This includes key projects such as the Muni Arts Centre redevelopment, currently underway, the continued investment in Ynysangharad Park, and the ‘riverside plaza’ plan for the former M&S and Dorothy Perkins site – where much of the site demolition is now complete. This adds to the Llys Cadwyn, Cwrt yr Orsaf and YMa projects which have already been delivered.

“While work to construct the public realm is contained within the bingo hall site, the contractor will use some temporary measures to ensure safety. This is particularly important to install the new bus bays, which includes very close working to the outside lane of Sardis Road – which will be brought out of use.

“Alternative routes for pedestrians will also be needed at various points and these will be clearly signposted. However, it is important to note that access for pedestrians into the southern end of the town centre will be maintained at all times. I’d like to thank residents, businesses, and visitors to Pontypridd for their patience and cooperation while this important scheme is delivered.”