A465 road

The A465, the Neath to Abergavenny Trunk Road,[1] is in Wales. The section westwards from Abergavenny is more commonly known as the Heads of the Valleys Road because it joins together the northern heads of the South Wales Valleys. Approximately following the southern boundary of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Ordnance Survey Pathfinder guide describes it as the unofficial border between rural and industrial South Wales.[2] The A465 provides an alternative route between England and the counties in South West Wales and to the ferries to Ireland.[3]

UK road A465

Heads of the Valleys Road nr Tafarnaubach (3252820)
Route information
Maintained by English local authorities and South Wales Trunk Road Agency
Length66 mi (106 km)
Major junctions
West endLlandarcy
51°38′57″N 3°50′55″W / 51.6492°N 3.8486°W
  M4 Junction 43
East endBromyard, Herefordshire
52°11′13″N 2°30′50″W / 52.1870°N 2.5139°W
Merthyr Tydfil
Road network


The A465 runs southwest from Bromyard towards the River Lugg, from where it runs concurrently with the A4103 for a short distance before entering Hereford. After a short distance on the A49, it crosses the River Wye, the River Monnow and the border into Wales. The A465 meets the A40 trunk road in Abergavenny and continues west through the heads of the valleys region past Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale, Tredegar, Rhymney, Merthyr Tydfil, Hirwaun, Glynneath and Aberdulais.

Dowlais Top Route of former Abergavenny - Merthyr railway being incorporated in new A465 Heads of Valley road 1736770 6a95992b
The A465 runs over the former Merthyr, Tredegar and Abergavenny Railway line (1965)

Even before the construction of the Heads of the Valleys road began in the 1960s, there were concerns and complaints regarding the capacity and safety of a single carriageway, three-lane design. The AbergavennyNeath trunk road opened in 1964.[4]

Until 1996, the A465 ran for most of its length between Glynneath and Aberdulais along a narrow single carriageway road, now redesignated as the B4242. The high accident rate on this stretch was one of the factors leading to the construction of a dual carriageway between these points. Now all of the section of the A465 from Hirwaun to Llandarcy is dual carriageway.[5][6]

The highest point (signposted) of 1,350 feet (410 m) is on the Ebbw Vale section which is now dual carriageway and slip roads between Dowlais Top and Tredegar via Rhymney. At Dowlais Top there are link roads such as the A4060, which runs down to the south end of Merthyr Tydfil and links with the A470, and the A4054 which goes through Merthyr Vale and Aberfan. Another link is the A4102 which leads into Dowlais and Merthyr Tydfil town centre. The A465 passes Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil and then continues to Cefn-coed-y-cymmer and the A470 link. It then continues down the floor of the Vale of Neath, bypassing Resolven, Neath and Skewen, before terminating at junction 43 of the M4 at Llandarcy.

Major upgrade

In 1990, a regional traffic study identified the need for improvements to the A465. In 1994, alternatives were presented for public consultation for the improvement of the 25-mile length between Abergavenny and Hirwaun, connecting the existing A465 dual carriageway link from Swansea to the A40, which is an important part of the route to the M50. In July 1995 the then Secretary of State for Wales announced the preferred route. This mainly consisted of widening the existing road to provide a dual carriageway standard with grade-separated junctions (and extra climbing lanes on certain hills) between Abergavenny and Hirwaun. The design was developed and a draft line order was published in 1997. This was tested at public local inquiry in 1998 after which the Secretary of State for Wales announced the decision to proceed with the scheme in 1999.

Much of the land on the route is undulating, but despite this, the preferred route alignment is considered to be of high standard and as such allows most of the route to have the national speed limit.[7]

Initially, the upgrade was split into seven sections. Later, sections 6 and 7 were combined into a single scheme for the purposes of construction.

A465 upgrade sections are
Section From / To Commencement date Completion date Status
1 Abergavenny to Gilwern February 2005 May 2008 Complete
2 Gilwern to Brynmawr December 2014[8] Due by 2019[9] Under construction
3 Brynmawr to Tredegar January 2013 September 2015 Complete
4 Tredegar to Dowlais Top March 2002 November 2004 Complete
5 Dowlais Top to A470 Late 2019[10] Due by 2022[10] Planned
6 A470 Junction to Hirwaun Late 2019[10] Due by 2022[10] Planned

The section between Llandarcy and Hirwaun is already dual carriageway. Construction works began on section 4 (Tredegar to Dowlais Top) in early spring 2002, and were completed by November 2004. Construction of section 1 (Abergavenny to Gilwern) began in February 2005. This section is a largely on-line upgrade of the existing single-carriageway road. This section was completed on 22 May 2008.

The contract for Section 3 – Brynmawr to Tredegar was awarded to Carillion in March 2010 with planning commencing soon after, it was announced in August 2012 that approval for the scheme to commence had been given and that construction should commence by the end of 2012 with completion due by early 2015.[11]

Planning for Section 2 – Gilwern to Brynmawr started in June 2011 and construction began in January 2015 and is expected to last until 2017.[12].

The National Transport Plan, published in March 2010, expected Brynmawr to Tredegar to be completed by 2014 and Gilwern to Brynmawr started by the same date. The remaining sections from Dowlais Top to the A470, and from the A470 to Hirwaun were to be completed by 2020.[13] Speaking in the Senedd in August 2010, the First Minister said completion of the A465 upgrade was the ultimate solution to the high number of casualties on the road.[14]

See also


  1. ^ "A465 HEADS OF THE VALLEYS DUALLING SECTION 3: BRYNMAWR TO TREDEGAR" (PDF). Carillion plc. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  2. ^ OS Pathfinder Guide, Brecon Beacons and Glamorgan. Ordnance Survey 1994.
  3. ^ Welsh Government - A465 (Heads of the Valleys Road) - Dualling Scheme Archived 16 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1960/feb/17/heads-of-the-valleys-road#S5CV0617P0_19600217_CWA_25
  5. ^ HANSARD 1803–2005 → 1990s → 1992 → June 1992 → 8 June 1992 → Written Answers (Commons) → WALES
  6. ^ http://eclecs.blogspot.com/2006/07/where-is-resolfen.html Cymdeithas Hanes Resolfen History Society
  7. ^ http://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/changes-and-answers/new-higher-speed-limits-for-lorries-in-england-and-wales
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "A465: Gilwern to Brynmawr". Welsh Government. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d "A465 section 5 and 6 Dowlais Top to Hirwaun". Welsh Government. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  11. ^ https://www.a465brynmawr2tredegar.co.uk
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 January 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "National Transport Plan map" (PDF). Welsh Assembly Government. 29 March 2010. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  14. ^ Williams, Emma (12 August 2010). "Major road is accident blackspot". Merthyr Express. Retrieved 5 December 2010.

External links

Coordinates: 51°50′39″N 3°00′00″W / 51.8442°N 2.9999°W

A4069 road

The A4069 is an A road which connects Llandovery with Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen in Wales, UK.

The route begins at the junction with the A474 at the north of Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, and travels through Lower Brynamman and Brynamman. The route then crosses over the Black Mountain range of the Brecon Beacons and emerges near Felindre near Llangadog. It crosses through Llangadog and then continues northeast until the junction with the A40 at Llandovery. It reaches a height of 493 m (1,617 ft) above sea level.

A4109 road

The A4109 road links Aberdulais with Glynneath in Neath Port Talbot county borough, Wales.

The route begins in Aberdulais at the junction with the A4230 and A465 roads; it diverges northwards away from the A465 up the Dulais Valley and crosses through the settlements of Crynant, Ynysfforch, Seven Sisters, Onllwyn, Dyffryn Cellwen and Banwen where it has a junction with the A4221. The road then continues in a southeasterly direction along the Inter Valley Road to Glynneath where it again connects with the A465.

A4221 road

The A4221 is an A road which links Banwen with Abercraf in Wales.

The roads begins just south of Abercraf at the junction with the A4067. It then heads eastwards through Caehopkin and then bypasses Coelbren. It joins the A4109 just west of Banwen.

A474 road

The A474 is a suburban main route in south Wales.

Settlements served by the A474 include:

Briton Ferry


Neath Abbey



Fforest Goch











Allensmore is a village in Herefordshire, England. It is located on the A465 road about 4 miles (6.4 km) south-west of Hereford. The church is dedicated to Saint Andrew.

Burley Gate

Burley Gate is a hamlet in Herefordshire, England. It is located just northeast of the junction between the A465 road and the A417 road. A Tudor cottage is located in the centre of the hamlet and a primary school in the western part. Ullingswick and Moreton Jeffries lies to the north and northeast respectively, Hill Hampton to the west, Ocle Pychard to the southwest and Much Cowarne to the southeast.


Kilpeck is a village and civil parish in the county of Herefordshire, England. It is about nine miles (14 km) southwest of Hereford, just south of the A465 road and Welsh Marches Line to Abergavenny, and about five miles (8 km) from the border with Wales. On the 1st of April 2019 the parishes of Kenderchurch, St Devereux, Treville and Wormbridge were merged with Kilpeck.The village is renowned for its small but outstanding Norman (Romanesque) church, SS Mary and David's, but also has the earthworks of a Norman motte and bailey castle that is no longer standing.


Llangua (Welsh: Llangiwa) is a village in Monmouthshire, south-east Wales, United Kingdom.

Llantilio Pertholey

Llantilio Pertholey (Welsh: Llandeilo Bertholau) is a small village and community (parish) in Monmouthshire, south east Wales. It is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the north-east of the market town of Abergavenny, just off the A465 road to Hereford. The parish covers a large area beneath the Skirrid, an outlier of the Black Mountains; much of the parish lies within the easternmost part of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Llanvihangel Crucorney

Llanvihangel Crucorney (Welsh: Llanfihangel Crucornau) is a small village in the community (parish) of Crucorney, Monmouthshire, Wales. It is located 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Abergavenny and 18 miles (29 km) south-west of Hereford, England on the A465 road.

Pandy, Monmouthshire

Pandy is a hamlet in Monmouthshire, south east Wales, United Kingdom.

Pen-y-Clawdd Court

Pen-y-Clawdd Court is a Grade I listed country house in Llanvihangel Crucorney, Monmouthshire, Wales, situated 1 mile (1.6 km) to the southwest of the village off the A465 road. It is a Tudor manor house, which lies within the bailey of what was Penyclawdd Castle, and is thought to date from circa 1625.


Pontrilas is a village in south Herefordshire, England, half a mile from the border with Wales. It is in the parish of Kentchurch and lies midway between Hereford and Abergavenny. In 2011 the main village contained 66 residential dwellings, as well as Pontrilas Business Park.The village name means 'bridge over three rivers', as the River Dore, Dulas brook and another smaller stream (which descends via Dineterwood but appears to have no specific name) meet there. The main A465 road skirts the west of the village.

The neighbouring villages include; Ewyas Harold, Llangua, Dulas, Wormbridge, Kilpeck, Bagwyllydiart, Abbey Dore and Howton.

Quarries of Vaynor

The Quarries of Vaynor refer to the limestone quarries around Vaynor, a village in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough, Wales.

Vaynor lies north of the A465 road and Merthyr Tydfil town. There are many limestone quarries in the area and the remains are still visible along the trails and on the hillsides. The limestone quarried there has been used for centuries for buildings and bridges and also to burn and make lime for agricultural use. Ruins of limekilns are scattered around the hillsides.


Rhigos () is a village in the north of the Cynon Valley, in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales. The population of the community at the 2011 census was 894. For postal purposes it comes under the town of Aberdare, although it is some 7 miles (11 km) from Aberdare town centre, and 2 miles (3.2 km) from Glyn Neath.

River Neath

River Neath (Welsh: Afon Nedd) is a river in south Wales running south west from its source in the Brecon Beacons National Park to its mouth at Baglan Bay below Briton Ferry on the east side of Swansea Bay.

Several minor rivers rise on the southern slopes of Fforest Fawr. These include the Afon Hepste, Afon Sychryd, Afon Pyrddin, Nedd Fechan and Afon Mellte, the latter two converging at Pontneddfechan to form the River Neath. Upstream from these confluences is the area known as Waterfall Country (Welsh: Coed y Rhaeadr), where the rivers plunge over a series of spectacular cataracts.

The river flows through the Vale of Neath, a long straight valley developed along the Neath Disturbance and which carried a major glacier during the ice ages. Downstream of Pontneddfechan the river has few significant tributaries. Those that do join include the Melincwrt Brook and the Clydach Brook.

The only major tributary to join is the River Dulais which has its source north of Seven Sisters. As the Dulais nears the Neath it descends a spectacular waterfall: the Dulais Falls, a popular tourist attraction owned and managed by the National Trust and the site of old iron workings. Close by the river flows past the once grand estate of Ynysygerwn. A smaller tributary, the River Clydach, flows southward through the village of Bryn-coch to join the Neath in Neath town centre.

The River Neath provides water to two canals, the Neath Canal and the Tennant Canal. At Aberdulais basin, both canals meet, the Tennant Canal crossing the River Neath with a fine aqueduct. Also crossing the river here is the Vale of Neath Railway line and the A465 road. As it approaches the town of Neath the river passes the ancient church of Saint Illtud at Llantwit. Further on it loops around the former workhouse at Llety Nedd and skirts Penydre. Here it passes close to the Norman castle, visited by King Henry II, King John and King Edward I.

As it meanders around the town of Neath it passes the remains of the Roman fort Nidum at Court Herbert and the Cistercian abbey of Neath Abbey. Here the monks of the Middle Ages used their access to the river to challenge the trading rights of the burgesses of the town of Neath.

The estuary of the River Neath extends from Neath town down past Briton Ferry to the sea next to Jersey Marine Beach. The estuary is partly industrialised with a ship breaking yard, a large local authority waste disposal site and wharves at Melincryddan, Briton Ferry and Neath Abbey. Where it remains undisturbed, there are areas of salt marsh stretching from Neath to Baglan Bay and Crymlyn Burrows which are of great ecological value.

Stoke Lacy

Stoke Lacy is a small village and civil parish in the English county of Herefordshire.

Stoke Lacy lies on the main A465 road that connects Hereford and Bromyard and is 10.3 miles (16.6 km) from the former and 4.3 miles (6.9 km) from the latter.

Thruxton, Herefordshire

Thruxton is a small rural village and civil parish in Herefordshire, England. It is located within the historic area of Archenfield, near the Welsh border and the city of Hereford. The village lies west of the A465 road and just south of the B4348 road between Kingstone and Much Dewchurch.The parish had a population of 33 in the 2001 UK Census and is grouped with Kingstone to form Kingstone & Thruxton Group Parish Council for administrative purposes.The parish church, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, is mainly in the Decorated style.


Wormbridge is a village and former civil parish in Herefordshire, England, about eight miles south-west of Hereford, on the A465 road at (SO423316). The neighbouring villages are Kilpeck, Didley, Howton, Ewyas Harold, Pontrilas and Crizeley.

Until 1 April 2019 the civil parish was part of The Kilpeck Group Parish Council, the civil parish was then merged with Kilpeck. It is home to several local and larger businesses: Theale Fireplaces, Galanthus Gallery and Cafe, Bridges Childcare, Forge Garage and Tack Shop and NFU Mutual.

The village previously had a small school, the building being rented from the Whitfield Estate (see below), until closed by Herefordshire Council due to decreasing numbers. The school building is now used by Bridges Childcare, which has been run successfully since 2003.

Historic houses in the village include: Wormbridge Court, Wormbridge House, Fairacre (formerly Lyon Villa) and Trelough House.

Wormbridge and its church were once owned by the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem. Some of the church architecture, including the entrance door, is Norman, dating from about 1200. The unbuttressed west tower dates from the 13th century, but the top stage and broach spire were added in 1851-59. The church also holds several memorial plaques belonging to local landowners and a private crypt.

Wormbridge Court Farm and the majority of the surrounding land and houses are now owned by Edward George Clive (formally Lennox-Boyd) of Whitfield, grandchild to Lady Mary Katherine Pakenham, sister to Francis Aungier Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford, Lord Longford.Wormbridge Court itself was a 17th-century house facing south on the site of the school playground. The basement window openings of that house are still visible in the retaining wall of the playground. The house was demolished circa 1800 when the Clive family moved to Whitfield, two miles away. The stables were then converted to create Wormbridge Court Farm.

Wormbridge Mill was a watermill on the Worm Brook, which flows near the village. The mill buildings are near Old Mill Farm. Steam power was used to supplement water from about 1890. Milling continued until the early 1920s.

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