From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
|Via:||Abergele, Rhyl, Prestatyn, Flint|
|Length:||53 miles (85.3 km)|
|Meets:||A470, B5113, B5384, B5382, A544, B5381, A547, A55, B5118, A525, B5119, B5120, B5121, A5026, A5119, B5129, A494, A550, B5441, A5480, A5268|
|Former Number(s):||B5106, B5117|
|Old route now:||B5129, B5441|
|Route outline (key)|
The A548 is a road of two halves: it crosses the hills from Llanrwst to Abergele before following the coast to cross the border into England.
Section 1: Llanrwst – Abergele
The road begins on the A470 in the small Conwy-valley town of Llanrwst, opposite the pretty stone bridge over the Conwy river. There is a short one-way section through the narrow streets, so inbound and outbound roads meet the A470 in slightly different places. We head east out of Llanrwst, crossing the railway line, then climbing up a wood-lined valley into the hills. We pass a turning on the left for the B5113 towards Colwyn Bay, then on the right we pass the end of the single-tracked B5113 heading south across the hills.
We cross the watershed and begin to descend again, alongside another small stream, passing the right turn to the B5384 and Pandy Tudur. We stay on the left (north) bank of the Afon Gallen as we meander north-east towards Llangernyw. Here, the Afon Gallen meets the River Elwy and we run along the western edge of the flat valley floor, surrounded by steep hillsides. The valley curves round to the east and we eventually reach Llanfair Talhaiarn, where we have a junction with the A544, just after a left-hand bend.
From here, we run north, leaving the wider Elwy Valley (which is followed by a very minor road) to climb up another very small valley alongside Mynydd Bodrochwyn, crossing the watershed into the next valley as we cross a minor road. We descend through trees to a junction with the B5381, then run on through more woodland and farm land, still in hilly country to Abergele, where things eventually level out.
Section 2: Abergele – Prestatyn
In the middle of Abergele, we cross the A547: for us there is a right-left stagger. Then we continue northwards, reaching the A55 at J23A (which only has west-facing sliproads) as the A55 deviates inland at the seafront. We pass under that road, then turn right at the roundabout, and the A548 changes from being a mountain road to a coast road. We run initially with only the railway separating us from the beach, then the caravan parks begin to appear and we move inland slightly to pass through Towyn and then Kinmel Bay on the way in to Rhyl, a seaside town complete with its amusements and promenade. There used to be a Sun Centre (glorified swimming pool) there but that closed in 2014. There was also once a monorail here, which ran along the promenade for a few weeks in 1980 before closing with huge debts. Rhyl is the sort of town that I would go out of my way to avoid, so this next section is one that I am not very familiar with. The A548 runs one block inland from the sea although right in the town centre there is a one-way system where the westbound route deviates to the south and meets the A525. As we leave Rhyl, we shadow the railway into Prestatyn, where we turn sharp right near the Pontins camp to resume the A548.
Section 3: Prestatyn – Flint
We pass the end of the A547 (which we met before in Abergele) then continue eastwards on the southern fringe of the coastal plain, steep hills rising to our right. There's not very much between us and the sea – presumably because the land is very low, flat and probably not that good.
We continue our run eastwards, passing along a short length of dual carriageway north of Gwespyr, which is the northernmost point on this road. Just after turning southeastwards, we reach a roundabout, which gives access to the old Point of Ayr Colliery. From here, we continue to follow the coast south-eastwards, now strictly speaking the River Dee estuary rather than the sea, with hills rising immediately on our right. There's a dual carriageway bypass for Ffynnongroyw, sandwiched between the village and the railway line, which itself runs along the sea wall and so cuts off the view.
Next we pass Mostyn, then arrive at Greenfields, which is on the coast near Holywell. Walwen and Whelston are bypassed by a dual carriageway. At the southern end of the bypass we meet the A5026 from Holywell, then the dual carriageway continues south-east, bypassing Bagillt on the way to Flint where the dual carriageway ends in the town centre.
Section 4: Flint – Chester
South-east of Flint, the road becomes dual carriageway and, at a dumbbell interchange, the A548 dual carriageway deviates from its original course to cross the River Dee on an impressive cable-stayed bridge opened in 1998 (the old route continues ahead along the B5129). From there we run round the edge of a power station and across a railway where we meet the A494 and A550 at a roundabout (the A494 is grade separated here). We run southwards alongside the A494 for a mile or so, past the RAF station (some maps show this section to be unclassified but signage disagrees and there is no other way of continuing along the A548). Then we turn left at a partially grade-separated junction, and head eastwards towards Chester.
The final stretch is very flat across low-lying farmland. We cross the border into England just south of Blacon on the outskirts of Chester. After passing Chester Racecourse and going through the Watergate in the city walls, the road ends on the A5268 inner ring road, a few hundred yards from the end of the A483.
The 1922 Road Lists describe the A548 as Rhyl - Prestatyn - Flint - Queensferry - Chester. This appears to have been a combination of new and upgraded road in 1923, as it is shown as open on one MOT map, and under construction on another (the boundary being at Gronant near Prestatyn), running partly on the B5117, partly on unclassified roads, and partly on new build, creating a coastal route from Chester to the seaside resorts of Prestatyn and Rhyl.