Bridgend County Borough Council has started design work on a series of potential new road safety improvements on the A48.
The council had originally applied to the Welsh Government for funding to enable the improvements to go ahead along the 5km section of road between Laleston and Waterton, but the bid was not successful.
Instead, the authority is focusing on completing the design process now so that it is in place and will not delay work once new funding has been sourced.
The proposed improvements range from new pedestrian refuges at key points along the route, resurfaced footpaths and extended footway links to new signage, new road markings, and undergrowth clearance work.
A new 50mph speed limit could also be proposed between the Ewenny and Broadlands roundabouts instead of the current 60mph limit.
The plans are in line with the recommendations of an independent report which the council commissioned following a number of accidents along the route.
The report found that although the route ‘generally benefits from good forward visibility with an average carriageway width of 10m’, there were 32 collisions between 2011 and 2015.
Five occurred on the eastbound approach to the Broadlands roundabout, 10 between the Merthyr Mawr Road and Island Farm Road junctions, three between the Ewenny roundabout and Hernston Lane junction, and five were west of the retail park roundabout.
Half of all the collisions involved a ‘read-end shunt’ between vehicles, while nine per cent were between vehicles and pedestrians. Three of the collisions were classed as ‘fatal’, seven as ‘serious’ and 22 as ‘slight’.
While the accidents accounted for an above-average casualty severity ratio of 23 per cent, collision rates were less than the national average for corresponding types of road.
The study found that nine of the 32 collisions occurred at night while six took place during wet weather. Alcohol, driver error and illegal manoeuvres also figured in the data.
Councillor Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“This extremely busy route forms a vital part of the local transport network and is well used by drivers and pedestrians alike.
“External funding needs to be in place before we can introduce any new improvements. Our initial bid may have been unsuccessful, but Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates has also given assurances that the scheme is first on a reserve list of bids and will be considered should funding become available.
“In order for work to begin without delay once new funding has been approved, we are getting everything ready now and are making sure that the design process is complete well in advance.”