Plans to reduce congestion and improve active travel facilities at Junction 48 of the M4 have been outlined by the Welsh Government.
Junction 48 at Hendy is the main interchange for traffic accessing Llanelli and Pontarddulais from the M4. It currently sees significant congestion during peak periods, with limited to non-existent provision for cyclists passing through.
The Welsh Government has committed funding of £2.9m to address issues at the junction.
The proposed works will involve:
- Carriageway widening of the A4138, reducing congestion as people join and leave the motorway.
- Provision of a shared use pedestrian and cyclist facility, linking with the route recently constructed between the A4138 and Llanelli and providing a continuous link between Hendy and Llangennech.
- Renewal of the existing traffic signals and provision of new traffic signals to improve safety and reduce queues.
- Lane management measures on the A4138 southbound, to maximise the capacity of the existing carriageway.
- Improvements to all of the M4 junctions with the A4138.
- Environmental enhancements to improve habitat for dormice.
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, said: “We know the junction is a considerable concern for the people who use it and I’m therefore pleased to be able to outline these improvements.
“It is a significant programme of works that will lead to real benefits for the area. The proposals will improve safety for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists and make travelling through the area more convenient.
“We will continue to work closely with Carmarthenshire Council as the plans progress further, while continuing to communicate with local residents over developments with the scheme.”
The scheme has been developed in conjunction with Carmarthenshire County Council, who will manage the construction works on behalf of the Welsh Government. Work is expected to begin in the coming weeks with an expected timeframe of 9-12 months.
Temporary road closures will be required for certain aspects of the work. Local residents and businesses will be consulted on plans, with advance notice provided of any works. Existing lanes will be maintained at peak times as much as possible, with lane closures implemented during off peak hours.
Cllr Hazel Evans, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Environment, said: “We welcome this significant investment to improve this very busy junction. The improvement works will support safer and improved journeys and is something people have been calling for.
“There will inevitably be some disruption as we carry out these works, but with careful planning we will minimise the impact on road users as far as possible, and all roadworks will be publicised in advance so people can plan their journeys. We thank everyone in advance for their cooperation and patience whilst we work to carry out these improvements.”