A4232 road

The A4232, which is also known either as the Peripheral Distributor Road (PDR) (Welsh: Ffordd Ddosbarthu Ymylol) or the Cardiff Link Road (Welsh: Ffordd Gyswllt Caerdydd),[2][3][4] is a distributor road in Cardiff, the capital of Wales.

The first section of the PDR to be completed was the Southern Way Link Road in 1978 and the last section was phase 1 of the Eastern Bay Link Road, known as Ewart Parkinson Road in 2017. When fully completed, the road will form part of the Cardiff ring road system.[5] The PDR runs west, south and east of Cardiff, with the M4 between junction 30 and junction 33 completing the northern section. The PDR is dual carriageway for its entire length except for Rover Way and the East Moors Viaduct, which is a single carriageway. The entire length of the road has clearway restrictions on it.

The PDR has been constructed in separate link roads of between 1.2 km (0.75 mi) and 5.47 km (3.40 mi) around Cardiff and to date 17.4 miles (28.0 km) including spurs have been opened to traffic, with plans for a further 5.53 km (3.44 mi).[6] It has 5 large viaducts (Ely Viaduct, Grangetown Viaduct, Taff Viaduct, Eastern Bay Link Viaduct and the East Moors Viaduct), 1 tunnel (Queen's Gate Tunnel) and 2 spur roads (Cogan Spur and Central Link Road). The road has many grade separated interchanges.

UK road A4232

Culverhouse Cross Link road
Route information
Maintained by South Wales Trunk Road Agent (Capel Llanilltern – Culverhouse Cross Link Road) and City of Cardiff Council (all other Link Roads)
Length17.4 mi (28.0 km)
HistoryConstructed 1978–2017
Major junctions
West end M4 (J33)
East end M4 (J30)
Road network


The road was conceived in the early 1970s, and planning by South Glamorgan County Council began in the late 1970s. At that stage the road was planned to be completed by 1995 and would relieve Ely, Grangetown, Butetown and East Moors of through traffic and provide a fast link to the national motorway network via the M4 and A48(M).[7] The first section of the PDR to be completed was the Southern Way Link Road between Newport Road (A4161 road) and the Eastern Avenue (A48 road) in 1978 and the last section of the PDR, the Butetown Link Road, was opened to the public in 1995.[1][2]

The former chairman of the South Glamorgan County Council environment committee, Councillor Paddy Kitson, called the road a "necklace of opportunity" due to its shape and also the opportunities for regeneration.[1] By 1 April 1996 the responsibility for the road was transferred from South Glamorgan County Council to the unitary authority of Cardiff Council. Much of the funding for the road had been grant aided from the European Community and the UK Government on the basis that it would improve the economic viability of the area and bring in new jobs and industry.[1] However, since the completion of the Butetown Link Road, funding for further developments have been at a standstill,[2] and to date 22 kilometres (14 mi) including spurs are open to traffic with plans for a further 5.53 km (3.44 mi).[6] The "missing link", the Eastern Bay Link Road, is still to be built.[2]

Route description

The PDR has 3 separate sections: the Capel Llanilltern Interchange (M4 J33) to Queen's Gate roundabout, the Lamby Way roundabout to the Llanedeyrn Interchange (A48) and the Pontprennau Interchange (A48) to the Pentwyn Interchange (M4 J30).

The section from the Capel Llanilltern Interchange on the M4 (junction 33) to the Queen's Gate roundabout is sometimes referred to as the Western Link Road (Welsh: Ffordd Gyswllt Gorllewin),[8] is 15.77 kilometres (9.80 mi) in length and includes the Capel Llanilltern – Culverhouse Cross Link Road, Ely Link Road, Grangetown Link Road and Butetown Link Road. For the majority of this section it is the boundary between the City of Cardiff to the east and the Vale of Glamorgan to the west.

Clockwise exits Junction / Interchange Anti-Clockwise exits
Bridgend, Newport, M4
Exit only
M4 J33
Capel Llanilltern Interchange
Cardiff West services
Start of A4232 (trunk road)
No access or exit St. Fagans Museum of Welsh Life
Start of A4232 (trunk road) Culverhouse Cross A48 (W) Ely, Cardiff West
A48 (E) Cowbridge/Y Bont Faen
A4050 Cardiff Airport/Maes Awyr Caerdydd,
Barry/Y Barri
Clockwise exits Junction / Interchange Anti-Clockwise exits
A48 (W) Cardiff West
A48 (E) Cowbridge/Y Bont Faen
A4050 Cardiff Airport/Maes Awyr Caerdydd,
Barry/Y Barri
Culverhouse Cross Start of A4232
B4267, City Centre Leckwith B4267, City Centre, Hadfield Road
A4055, Barry, Penarth, Grangetown Ferry Road A4055, Barry, Penarth, Grangetown
No Exit Stuart Street Techniquest Museum, Mermaid Quay
Exit Only
A4234, City Centre Queen's Gate roundabout A4234, City Centre, Docks
Start of A4232 Ocean Way roundabout City Centre
End of A4232
Lamby Way roundabout
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

This section partly opened in 1978,[1] from the Lamby Way roundabout to the Llanedeyrn Interchange on the A48, is the oldest section of the PDR. It includes only the Southern Way Link Road, known locally as Southern Way, and is 2.25 km (1.40 mi) in length.

Clockwise exits Junction / Interchange Anti-Clockwise exits
Lamby Way
End of A4232
Rover Way / Lamby Way Start of A4232
A4161, City centre
Exit only
Southern Way Access only
Start of A4232 Llanedeyrn A48, Newport, City Centre
End of A4232
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

The Pentwyn Link Road section from the Pontprennau Interchange on the A48 to the Pentwyn Interchange on the M4 (junction 30) is one of the newer sections of the PDR, having been opened in 1984; it is 1.61 km (1.00 mi) in length. The road between the Llanedeyrn Interchange to the Pontprennau Interchange is the A48 (Eastern Avenue); it too is a dual carriageway and is a concurrent road with the PDR; there are no plans to renumber this section of the A48.

Clockwise exits Junction / Interchange Anti-Clockwise exits
A48 A48 Pontprennau Start of A4232
Pontprennau, Cardiff Gate Retail Park,
Llanedeyrn Village
Heol Pontprennau Pontprennau, Cardiff Gate Retail Park,
Llanedeyrn Village
Start of A4232 M4 J30
Pentwyn Interchange
Cardiff Gate services
Bridgend, Newport, M4
End of A4232
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Link roads

A map of all the link roads and spur roads can be seen by clicking Map of all coordinates opposite

Each section of the road was completed in separate link roads.

Capel Llanilltern – Culverhouse Cross Link Road

A4232 (Capel Llanilltern – Culverhouse Cross Link Road)
Looking north towards the M4
Ely Viaduct
Ely Viaduct

The £14.5 million Capel Llanilltern – Culverhouse Cross Link Road (Welsh: Ffordd Gyswllt Capel Llanilltern – Croes Cwrlwys), also known as the A4232 Trunk Road (as it is the only section of the PDR which is a trunk road), between the Capel Llanilltern Interchange (51°30′23″N 3°18′38″W / 51.506481°N 3.310425°W) and the Culverhouse Cross Interchange (51°27′59″N 3°16′16″W / 51.466350°N 3.271110°W) was opened in 1985.[6] It was designed to provide a by-pass for traffic from the M4 to the Vale of Glamorgan.[6] It is 5.47 km (3.40 mi) in length and includes the Ely Viaduct close to Michaelston-super-Ely. The trunk road is maintained by the South Wales Trunk Road Agency (SWTRA) on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG).[9] The remainder of the PDR is a primary route, which is maintained by Cardiff Council. In 2006 variable message signs were installed on the Capel Llanilltern – Culverhouse Cross Link Road by Techspan Systems to display warning messages about road and weather conditions, accidents, congestion and major events in the area.[10][11]

Ely Viaduct

The Ely Viaduct (Welsh: Traphont Trelái) crosses over the River Ely and also the main South Wales railway line.

The viaduct is a 538 ft (164 m) twin-box girder and has central span of 230 ft (70 m) and 150 ft (46 m) side spans, constructed by the balanced cantilever method. It was constructed in segments, each weighing between 54 tons for plain segments and 93 tons for the main segments.[12]

Media related to Capel Llanilltern – Culverhouse Cross Link Road at Wikimedia Commons

Ely Link Road

Ely Link Road
Footbridge on the Ely Link Road, connecting Mary Immaculate High School to Caerau

The Ely Link Road (Welsh: Ffordd Gyswllt Trelái) between the Culverhouse Cross Interchange (51°27′57″N 3°16′12″W / 51.465840°N 3.269895°W) and the Leckwith Interchange (51°28′14″N 3°12′42″W / 51.470641°N 3.211762°W), sometimes referred to as the Leckwith Road Interchange. It is 4.83 km (3.00 mi) in length and was opened in 1982 and built by Davies Middleton & Davies Ltd (DMD).[13] It was designed to relieve Ely of through traffic and partly cuts into Leckwith Hill.[6]

Media related to Ely Link Road at Wikimedia Commons

Grangetown Link Road

Concrete section (Grangetown Link Road)
A segment being transported ready for gluing
Construction of the Grangetown Link Road viaduct
Construction of the Grangetown Viaduct
Grangetown Viaduct over Penarth Road, Cardiff
Grangetown Viaduct over Penarth Road (A4160)

The 2.89 km (1.80 mi) Grangetown Link Road (Welsh: Ffordd Gyswllt Trelluest) between the Leckwith Interchange (51°28′13″N 3°12′40″W / 51.470159°N 3.211239°W) and the Ferry Road Interchange (51°27′13″N 3°11′09″W / 51.453510°N 3.185760°W) was opened on 3 May 1988.[14] It includes the Grangetown Viaduct.

Grangetown Viaduct

The Grangetown Viaduct (Welsh: Traphont Trelluest) is approximately 1 km (0.62 mi) in length and is said to be the longest glued segmental bridge in the United Kingdom.[15] It has 13 spans of 71 meters (233 ft) with 2 end spans of 38 m (125 ft) and 46 m (151 ft).[16]

The viaduct was designed by South Glamorgan County Council. Robert Benaim and Associates, now called Benaim UK Ltd designed the initial launching system for the glued segmental structure.

Media related to Grangetown Link Road at Wikimedia Commons

Butetown Link Road

Queen's Gate Tunnel
Butetown Tunnel East Entrance

The 2.57 km (1.60 mi) Butetown Link Road (Welsh: Ffordd Gyswllt Butetown) between the Ferry Road Interchange (51°27′13″N 3°11′03″W / 51.453585°N 3.184044°W) and the Queen's Gate Roundabout (51°28′04″N 3°09′27″W / 51.467873°N 3.157455°W) was opened on 27 March 1995 by Neil Kinnock at the time the European Commissioner for Transport.[14] Construction of the link road commenced on 15 October 1993 and it was the last link road to be built. It includes the Taff Viaduct, also known as the Butetown Link Road Bridge, and the Queen's Gate Tunnel, which is also known simply as the Butetown Tunnel.

In 1987 South Glamorgan County Council had intended to build a viaduct cross the River Taff and then go onto an elevated section through Butetown "on stilts".[7] But the newly formed Cardiff Bay Development Corporation along with local residents objected to the scheme that they said would cut through Butetown and split the community, creating an unnecessary physical barrier between the two areas to the north and south of the link road. By 1988 South Glamorgan County Council had agreed to change the design of the link road, despite having already spent 6 years of design work on the link road meant that a tunnel had to be built instead.[17] The cost of the Butetown Link Road was estimated to cost £35 million, but this had risen to £45M in 1988, before the design change.[18]

The contract to build the Butetown Link Road was eventually won by a local company Davies Middleton & Davies Ltd in a joint venture with an Italian contractor, Cogefar-Impressit UK Ltd. The bid of £60 million undercut all other bids by £10 million,[19] Davies Middleton & Davies Ltd have subsequently gone into administrative receivership.

Queen's Gate Tunnel
Building the Butetown Tunnel
Construction of the Queen's Gate Tunnel during the "cover" phase of the "cut and cover" method of construction

The Queen's Gate Tunnel (Welsh: Twnnel Porth y Frenhines), also known as the Butetown Tunnel, is underneath southern Butetown and follows a line underneath the Wales Millennium Centre. The 715 m (2,346 ft)[20] twin tunnel was constructed using the cut and cover method of construction, which involves digging a trench for the tunnel and then roofing it over. The tunnel was constructed using reinforced concrete and a central wall separates the two sets of traffic.[21]

South Glamorgan County Council originally awarded the contract for the management, installation, testing and commissioning of all electrical and mechanical services for the tunnel, and the water pumping stations to EI·WHS Ltd. They still maintain the tunnel on behalf of Cardiff Council.[20]

Immediately to the east of the tunnels is an unfinished viaduct which had been built to continue over Queen's Gate Roundabout to link up with the next section. The viaduct will not be completed during the 2016-2017 construction of the Eastern Bay Link road, but remains available for future development.

A4232 Queen's Gate
The unfinished flyover at the Queen's Gate roundabout
Taff Viaduct
Building the Butetown Link Road
During construction
The A4232 road bridge over River Taff
Spanning the River Taff

Construction of the 600 m (2,000 ft) Taff Viaduct (Welsh: Traphont Tâf) includes a dual-carriageway roadway plus a foot and cycle path. South Glamorgan County Council was the local authority in charge of the project at the time and construction of the viaduct began in March 1991. The Taff Viaduct crosses the River Taff at Cardiff Bay.

The viaduct was constructed using precast concrete segments, which is widely used in the construction industry for medium to long span viaducts. Segments were made in a casting yard near the site and then transported for final assembly of the viaduct.[22]

Media related to Butetown Link Road at Wikimedia Commons

Eastern Bay Link Road (Ewart Parkinson Road)

Eastern Bay Link Road Geograph-5430875-by-Gareth-James
A4232 Eastern Bay Link Road geograph-5430891-by-Gareth-James

Construction on the first phase of the 5.25 km (3.26 mi) Eastern Bay Link Road (Welsh: Ffordd Gyswllt Dwyrain y Bae), also known as the Ewart Parkinson Road (Welsh: Ffordd Ewart Parkinson), began on 17 March 2016.[23] It runs from the Queen's Gate Roundabout to the Ocean Way roundabout and was opened on 15 June 2017 by the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.[24] Only phase 1 of the 1.2 km (0.75 mi) road between Queen's Gate Roundabout (51°28′05″N 3°09′22″W / 51.468090°N 3.156193°W) and Ocean Way Interchange (51°28′20″N 3°08′39″W / 51.472328°N 3.144107°W) has been constructed, with a feasibility study being carried out into the final phase (Phase 2) of the link road between Ocean Way roundabout to the A48 Eastern Avenue.[25][26] The link road is a two lane dual carriageway with a 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) speed limit eastbound and a 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) speed limit westbound.[27][28] Originally the link road was to have just a 180 m (590 ft) with embankments at both ends of the link road, however because a sewer could not be diverted, a 670 m (2,200 ft) viaduct had to be built instead, which caused delays to the construction.[29] The viaduct was constructed using steel and concrete beams with parapet edge units.[30]

Eastern Bay Link logo
Logo of the Eastern Bay Link Road

For many years this link road had been mothballed due to the costs involved.[31] The link road had previously been known as the East Moors Link Road – Phase 1 and 3, but it also included the East Moors Viaduct, which was originally known as the East Moors Link Road – Phase 2.[1] Later it became known as the Cardiff Bay Link Road, then renamed again becoming the Eastern Bay Link Road.[7]

The Eastern Bay Link Road was subject to many planning proposals since the last link road (the Butetown Link Road) was completed in 1995, namely a local transport plan (Local Transport Plan 2000–2016) in August 2000, a green paper (A Change of Gear) in December 2002 and a white paper (Keeping Cardiff Moving) in May 2003.[6][32] The cost of the link road was estimated to cost GB£162 million in 2001 and this increased to GB£180 million by August 2002. It was suggested that it could be paid for by congestion charging,[33] although a public-private partnership is also considered.[34]

The original route of the link road had been challenged by both Friends of the Earth Cymru,[35] and also the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), who had both lodged formal objections against the link road.[36]

The new route would be different to the earlier proposal and would avoid any encroachment into the nature conservation area, which Friends of the Earth and the RSPB had objected to. The new route would ensure that there would be no objections.[37][38]

Eastern Bay Link Road (A4232) map
The route of Phase 1 of the Eastern Bay Link Road. The western end (left) is Queen's Gate roundabout, the eastern end is Ocean Way roundabout (right)

It was revealed on 14 June 2013 that Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport in the WAG supported the completion the Eastern Bay Link Road.[39] She said that the link road would; improve access to Cardiff Bay, improve access to the Cardiff Central Enterprise Zone and enhance connections within the Cardiff City Region.[40] The overall objectives of the road would be to:

  • Increase accessibility from east Cardiff to major employment sites in the East Moors area, Cardiff Bay and the Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone
  • Provide a more direct route between the Butetown Tunnel and Rover Way
  • Reduce congestion at the junctions on Tyndall Street by removing traffic currently using the Ocean Way- East Tyndall Street – Central Link route
  • Reduce journey times for private and commercial road users
  • Help economic regeneration
  • Enhance road safety and reduce casualties
  • Improve resilience on the strategic road network around Cardiff
  • Provide more opportunities for cycling and walking[40]
Phase 1
Construction of the Eastern Bay Link Road-Geograph-5174081-by-Gareth-James
Construction of Phase 1 of the Eastern Bay Link looking west towards Queens Gate roundabout (October 2016)

On 2 May 2014, Edwina Hart approved the procurement of the design–build contractor, advance service diversion works and communications arrangements for the Eastern Bay Link Road.[41] In April 2015, it was announced by the Welsh Government that the 1.2 km (0.75 mi) £27.3m Eastern Bay Link Road from the Queens Gate roundabout to the Ocean Way roundabout at Tremorfa known as the "roundabout to nowhere", would be designed by Capita Property and Infrastructure with Cass Hayward being the specialist bridge designer.[30] It was constructed by Dawnus Construction Holdings and Ferrovial Agroman UK in a joint venture.[28][42] Construction began on Phase 1 of the link road on 17 March 2016,[26][28] This phase of the road was opened on Thursday 15 June 2017 by the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.[24]

Phase 2

It was reported on 9 December 2016 by Cardiff Council that a feasibility study into Phase 2 between the Ocean Way roundabout to the A48 Eastern Avenue will take place and will be funded by the Welsh Government, as will all the construction costs for Phase 2.[25] Extending the link road 5 km (3.1 mi) from Ocean Way roundabout to the A48 (via the Southern Way Link Road) could take between three and five years to complete.[43]

Media related to Eastern Bay Link Road at Wikimedia Commons

Southern Way Link Road

Southern Way across the Rhymney, Cardiff
A4232 Southern Way viaduct, Cardiff

The Southern Way Link Road (Welsh: Ffordd Gyswllt y Ffordd Deheuol),[44] generally known simply as Southern Way, was built in two parts; the first section of Southern Way to be completed was between Newport Road (A4161 road) and the Eastern Avenue (A48 road) in 1978.[1] The final section of the link road was built between Newport Road and the Rover Way – Lamby Way roundabout and was opened in 1984 at a cost of £9 million and includes the East Moors Viaduct, which is also known as the Southern Way Flyover.[1] In 1987 it was envisaged that the present single-carriage would be "twinned" as a dual-carriageway, the same as the rest of the PDR.[7] The 2.25 km (1.40 mi) link road now runs from the Rover Way – Lamby Way Roundabout (51°29′35″N 3°08′02″W / 51.493127°N 3.133759°W) to the Llanedeyrn Interchange (51°30′26″N 3°08′45″W / 51.507202°N 3.145853°W) on the A48.

East Moors Viaduct

The 900 m (3,000 ft) East Moors Viaduct (Welsh: Traphont Rhostiroedd y Dwyrain),[45] which is also known as the Southern Way Flyover, was also designed by Robert Benaim and Associates who won the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) Project Award and also a Concrete Society Commendation, both in 1985 for work on the viaduct.[46][47] The viaduct was constructed by concrete box girder deck of segmental construction.[46] The East Moors Viaduct was originally known as the East Moors Link Road – Phase 2,[1] but now forms part of the Southern Way Link Road.

Media related to Southern Way Link Road at Wikimedia Commons

Pentwyn Link Road

A4232 Pentwyn
Looking north approaching the Pontprennau roundabout

The Pentwyn Link Road (Welsh: Ffordd Gyswllt Pentwyn), which is also known as the North Pentwyn Link Road, runs from the Pontprennau Interchange (51°31′43″N 3°07′49″W / 51.528660°N 3.130240°W) on the A48 and the Pentwyn Interchange (51°32′29″N 3°07′43″W / 51.541525°N 3.128749°W) on the M4 (junction 30). It is 1.61 km (1.00 mi) in length and was opened by John Redwood MP, the Secretary of State for Wales on 20 June 1994.[14] It provides a link between the Eastern Avenue (A48) and the M4 so that westbound traffic from the east of the city can get onto the M4 without having to go through the city, via the A48 and A470. In addition it also provides access to the community of Pontprennau to the national road network. This link was financed by private developers as part of a large scale housing development at Pontprennau.[48]

Media related to Pentwyn Link Road at Wikimedia Commons

Public Art & Commemorative Stones

Type Image Link Road Location Notes
Sculpture - A Private View Crpped image of A Private View 3955220-by-Jaggery Butetown Link Road Taff Viaduct
(western end)
South Glamorgan County Council commissioned a sculpture by Kevin Atherton for the foot and cycle path on a specially constructed viewing platform. The work was to mark the completion of the Taff Viaduct so that the sculpture should be visible for the benefit of pedestrians, cyclist and motorists alike.[49] It was unveiled in 1995.[50]
Commemorative stone Queen's Gate 01 Butetown Link Road Queen's Gate Roundabout Stone marking the inauguration of Queen's Gate (Butetown Link Road) at the Queen's Gate roundabout on 15 October 1993.
Sculpture - Secret Station Cropped image of "Secret Station" adjacent to Rover Way roundabout, Cardiff - 1807638 84f130c4 Southern Way Link Road Rover Way roundabout (south west of roundabout) A sculpture by Eilis O'Connell, unveiled 1992.[50] It was vandalised in early 2018 and remains in its bare state, with the mechanics of the light and smoke machine visible.
Commemorative stone Stone recording the opening of Pentwyn Link Road Pentwyn Link Road Heol Pontprennau roundabout
(south west of roundabout)
Stone marking the opening of the Pentwyn Link Road on 20 June 1994.

Spur roads

Cogan Spur (A4055)

A4055 Bridge over the River Ely, Cogan Link
A4055 viaduct

The Cogan Spur, which is also known as the Cogan Link (Welsh: Cyswllt Cogan),[51] from the Ferry Road Interchange (51°27′13″N 3°11′06″W / 51.453519°N 3.184876°W) to Barons Court Junction (51°26′52″N 3°11′23″W / 51.447910°N 3.189787°W) on the A4160 was opened in 1988.[13] It is only 0.8 km (0.50 mi), but it is an important link to provide access to the PDR from Penarth and the southern part of the Vale of Glamorgan. It also bypasses Penarth Road (A4160) for traffic going in and out of Cardiff city centre.

The most recent development, which began at the end of 2006 and into 2007 was the widening of the road between the Cogan Viaduct and the Ferry Road Interchange to a 3-lane dual-carriageway. A new junction was also built for the Cardiff International Sports Village directly from Cogan Spur; also the Barons Court roundabout was replaced by a signal controlled crossroad. The main contractor for this project was Laing O'Rourke Civil Engineering.[51][52]

Cogan Viaduct

The Cogan Viaduct (Welsh: Traphont Cogan) is the most important element of the Cogan Spur as it crosses the River Ely with a central span of 95 metres (312 ft). In total it has 6 spans; 40 m (130 ft), 60 m (200 ft), 60 m, 60m, 95 m and 60 m.[16] It is made from a multi-span glued segmental structure of rectangular box sections. In all over 300 sections were used to construct the viaduct, each weighing from 43 to 117 tonnes.[22][53] The Cogan Viaduct was again designed by South Glamorgan County Council, who won a Concrete Society Commendation in 1989 for the design.

Central Link Road (A4234)

A4234 road (Splott junction)
Central Link Road
The Splott Junction road looking north

The £8.5 million Central Link (Welsh: Ffordd Gyswllt Canolog) between the Queen's Gate Roundabout (51°28′06″N 3°09′27″W / 51.468399°N 3.157366°W) and the junction on Adam Street (51°28′46″N 3°10′03″W / 51.479557°N 3.167631°W) on the A4160 was opened on 16 February 1989.[1][14] When it was first opened it only linked Cardiff city centre with Cardiff Bay. It was not until the Butetown Link was opened on 27 March 1995 that this road started to be used as a link to the motorway network, Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan. It will not be until the Eastern Bay Link is built, when traffic from the city centre will use it to travel east, that it will be fully used. The length of the A4234 is just 1.45 km (0.90 mi) and is entirely a two lane dual carriageway with clearway restrictions.

Abandoned spur roads

Ely Spur

Ely Bridge Roundabout - geograph.org.uk - 289179
Ely Bridge Roundabout

The Ely Spur was planned to run from a new interchange on the Ely Link Road to the Ely Bridge Roundabout on the A48. It was only 1.2 km (0.75 mi) in length, but it would have reduced through traffic in the residential area of Ely, namely on Cowbridge Road West traveling to and from the A48. But it has now been announced that this proposal has now been officially abandoned.[37]

Cardiff Airport Link Road

A4050 at Wenvoe
The A4050 road

The Cardiff Airport Link Road (Welsh: Ffordd Gyswllt Maes Awyr Caerdydd) was a proposed spur road off of the A4232 through to Cardiff Airport, when plans for the road were scrapped by the WAG in June 2009.[54] The current single carriageway A4050 road, from Cardiff to Cardiff Airport is currently the main road from Barry to Cardiff and is the main commuter route. There were 4 proposed schemes linking the Ely Link Road, south of the Culverhouse Cross Interchange, through to the A4226 north of Barry. The estimated cost of this scheme would have been £96m, including the widening of the A4232.[55]


The PDR has two service stations for motorists, one at Cardiff West on the Capel Llanilltern Interchange and the other at Cardiff Gate on the Pentwyn Interchange. The services at Cardiff West includes Esso petrol, a Travelodge, Burger King, Costa Coffee and W H Smith,[56] while the services at Cardiff Gate includes Shell petrol, a Hotel Ibis, Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, Waitrose and W H Smith.[57]

Traffic Wales is the Welsh Government's traffic information service, it is a partnership between the Welsh Government, the two Trunk Road Agents (South Wales TRA / North & Mid Wales TRA) and the WTTC consultancy Amey. In South Wales the service is managed from the South Wales Traffic Management Centre, also home to INRIX Media's studio, providing live travel information for the media. The Traffic Wales website has five live traffic webcams on the Capel Llanilltern – Culverhouse Cross Link Road (Trunk Road) and the images are updated every 5 minutes. Traffic Wales also operates a Traffic Information Hotline, motorists can use this telephone service by dialling an 0845 number, which gives up to date traffic information and travel advice.

Traffic congestion

Since the western link roads were built, a number of major developments have been built, such as the Cardiff Bay Retail Park, IKEA, Celtic Gateway, Cardiff International Sports Village that includes the Cardiff International Pool, Cardiff International White Water and Cardiff Arena, which have all generated additional traffic at the Ferry Road Interchange. In addition, the Leckwith development, which includes Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff International Sports Stadium and the Capital Retail Park with a new Asda supermarket, have also significantly increased traffic on the Leckwith Interchange.[8] At the Culverhouse Cross Interchange, older developments such as the Brooklands Retail Park, Wenvoe Retail Park and Valegate Retail Park, including Tesco and Marks & Spencer have also significantly increased congestion along with commuter traffic from the Vale of Glamorgan. From 1989 to 1997 there had been an increase in traffic of 78% and a further increase of 35% by 2016 is predicted by the Assembly.[55] The Vale of Glamorgan Council also expressed reservations about the new developments of the Cardiff International Sports Village and the Cardiff City Stadium, which includes the Capital Retail Park. On 18 October 2006, the council requested that the WAG assess the existing traffic conditions and future growth in traffic on the network.[58]

Popular culture

The Queen's Gate Tunnel was featured in the first ever episode of Torchwood, called "Everything Changes" and was first broadcast by BBC Three on 22 October 2006.[59] The Grangetown Link was featured in the 2006 Christmas episode of Doctor Who called "The Runaway Bride",[60][61] which was first broadcast by BBC One on 25 December 2006.[60]

See also


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  17. ^ South Wales Echo, "Delay to link road will be at least one year", Tuesday 16 February 1988, Page 5
  18. ^ South Wales Echo, "A road that lost its way?", Wednesday 29 March 1989, Page 12
  19. ^ "Retaining a major share of the home market". Reed Business Information Limited. Archived from the original on 18 January 2016. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
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  36. ^ "Eastern Bay Link, Cardiff". Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  37. ^ a b "Cardiff Local Development Plan 2006-2021- Preferred Strategy Report paragraph 6.24". Cardiff Council. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
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  • Cardiff & Newport A-Z Street Atlas 2007 Edition

External links

Route map:

Webcams on the Capel Llanilltern – Culverhouse Cross Link Road

The following images updates every five minutes – click ‘refresh’ for the latest.

A4160 road

The A4160 was the road that connected Penarth with Cardiff in Wales; now the A4055 and A4232 have become the main route from Penarth to Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay

The route begins at Fitzalan Place on the junction at Newport Road (A4161) and West Grove. It heads south along Fitzalan Place and then westerly along Adam Street and Bute Terrace and for a short stretch south along Bute Street before entering Callaghan Square and joining Penarth Road, continuing in a southwesterly direction. It crosses through the Penarth Road commercial district then crosses the River Ely and passes under the A4232 road, after which it turns to a south easterly direction. It ends in the town centre of Penarth.

Cadoxton River

The Cadoxton River (Welsh: Afon Tregatwg) is a short river in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales and with a length of about 5 miles/8 kilometres it is one of Wales's shortest rivers.


Drope is a hamlet in the valley of the River Ely in Vale of Glamorgan, southeast Wales, just beyond the territorial border of western Cardiff. It lies immediately east from Michaelston-super-Ely, west of Ely, Cardiff and southeast of St Georges-super Ely and is accessed via a bridge along Drope Road across the A4232 road to the north of Culverhouse Cross. Drope was designated a special conservation area in March 1973 by the former Glamorgan County Council due to its architectural heritage.

List of places in Cardiff

This is a listing of places in Cardiff, county and capital city of Wales.

List of public art in Cardiff

This is a list of public art in Cardiff, Wales, within the city and county boundary, including statues, sculptures, murals and other significant artworks located outside in public view.

Michaelston-le-Pit and Leckwith

Michaelston-le-Pit and Leckwith is a community in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. It is located immediately southwest of the city of Cardiff (bounded by the A4232 road) and to the north of the Vale of Glamorgan villages of Llandough and Dinas Powys. As its name suggests, the community includes the small villages of Michaelston-le-Pit and Leckwith. The community population comprises only just under 250 adults.Michaelston-le-Pit and Leckwith have a community council comprising seven councillors and a clerk. For Vale of Glamorgan Council elections the community is part of the Dinas Powys ward.

Buildings of note in Michaelston-le-Pit and Leckwith include the Grade I listed St Michael's Church in Michaelston-le-Pit and the Old Leckwith Bridge (crossing the River Ely to Cardiff) which has a Grade II* heritage listing.

Planet of the Dead

"Planet of the Dead" is the second of five special episodes of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who broadcast between Christmas 2008 and New Years Day 2010. It was simultaneously broadcast on BBC One and BBC HD on 11 April 2009. The specials served as lead actor David Tennant's denouement as the Tenth Doctor. He is joined in the episode by actress Michelle Ryan, who plays Lady Christina de Souza, a one-off companion to the Doctor. The episode was co-written by Russell T Davies and Gareth Roberts, the first writing partnership since the show's revival in 2005.

The episode depicts Christina fleeing the police from a museum robbery by boarding a bus that accidentally travels from London to the desert planet of San Helios, trapping her, the Doctor, and several passengers on board the damaged vehicle. After the bus driver dies trying to return to Earth, the Unified Intelligence Taskforce, headed by Captain Erisa Magambo (Noma Dumezweni) and scientific advisor Malcolm Taylor (Lee Evans), attempt to return the bus while preventing a race of metallic stingray aliens from posing a threat to Earth. At the end of the episode, one of the passengers delivers a warning to the Doctor that "he will knock four times", foreshadowing the remaining three specials.

"Planet of the Dead" was the first Doctor Who episode to be filmed in high definition, after a positive reaction to the visual quality of spin-off series Torchwood and the financial viability of HDTV convinced the production team to switch formats. To ensure that the desert scenes looked as realistic as possible, the production team filmed in Dubai for three days, sending several props, including a 1980 double-decker Bristol VR bus, to the United Arab Emirates for filming. After the bus was unintentionally damaged in Dubai by a shipping container, Davies rewrote the script to explain the damage in the narrative.

The audience gave the episode an Appreciation Index of 88—considered excellent.

St Georges super Ely

St Georges super Ely, also known as St Georges (Welsh: Sain Siorys), is a small village and community in the western outskirts of Cardiff, in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. Lying to the northwest of Culverhouse Cross, between Peterston-super-Ely and Michaelston-super-Ely, it contains a medieval church and ruined manor house dated to the fifteenth century.

Trunk roads in Wales

Trunk roads in Wales were first created in the Trunk Roads Act of 1936 when the UK Ministry of Transport took direct control over 30 of the principal roads in Great Britain from English, Welsh and Scottish local authorities. The number of trunk roads were expanded from 30 to 101 in the Trunk Roads Act of 1946. These roads formed what the Act called "the national system of routes for through traffic". Since Welsh devolution the Trunk Road system in Wales has been managed by the South Wales Trunk Road Agent and North & Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent on behalf of the Welsh Government. As of April 2015, out of a total of 34,495 miles (55,514 km) of roads in Wales, 1,576 miles (2,536 km) are trunk roads (including 133 miles (214 km) of motorways and 350 miles (560 km) of dual carriageway).Historically, trunk roads have been listed on maps with a "(T)" after their number, to distinguish them from non-trunk parts of the same road. However, this suffix is no longer included on current Ordnance Survey maps. However, the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent still use it to distinguish the trunk road from a non-trunk road. It is possible for roads to be "de-trunked" for example, when a road had been improved by a motorway, bypass or a similar route. When a road is de-trunked signposts are often replaced, and sometimes route numbers are changed, making the original road harder to follow. The London–Fishguard Trunk Road in 1936 only included the A48 and the A40. However, with road improvements (most notably the M4 motorway), the A48 in south Wales and A40 in England have largely been de-trunked.

Voco St David's Cardiff Hotel

Voco St David's Cardiff Hotel is a five-star hotel situated in Cardiff, Wales, just off the A4232 road, and close to Cardiff Bay railway station. Opened originally in 1999 by Rocco Forte Hotels, since 2018 it has been operating under the Voco name.

Wenvoe Tunnel

Wenvoe Tunnel is a disused tunnel on the defunct Barry Railway that runs under Culverhouse Cross on the western outskirts of Cardiff, in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales. It was opened in 1889 on a line used to carry coal to Barry Docks, always had a sparse passenger service and closed following March 1963.

A roads in Zone 4 of the Great Britain road numbering scheme
Wales Trunk Roads in Wales
Managed by the
North and Mid Wales
Trunk Road Agent
Managed by the
South Wales
Trunk Road Agent
Related topics and
further information
Motorways and A roads
Pedestrian precincts
and commercial streets
Railway lines
Railway operators
Major railway stations
Other city
railway stations


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