|Location Map ( geo)
|Merthyr Tydfil (SO022091)
|26.2 miles (42.2 km)
|A4119, M4, A470, B4262, A468, A473, B4595, A4223, B4275, A472, B4254, B4285, A4060, A4102, A470
|Old route now:
|Route outline (key)
In 1922, the A4054 started on the A48 (now A4161) Cowbridge Road on the right bank of the River Taff and headed north along Cathedral Road into Llandaff before continuing on to end on the then A470 near the hospital in Whitchurch. Some time later, the section south of Llandaff was renumbered as an extension of the A4119.
When Whitchurch was bypassed, the A4054 was extended north along the former A470 to meet the end of the bypass; this has continued with the building of further bypasses along the Taff Vale, with the A4054 being extended each time. The A4054 now runs north for nearly 30 miles to end on the A470 to the north of Merthyr Tydfil.
Llandaff – Treforest
Starting at a roundabout on the A4119 on the northern side of Llandaff the A4054 heads north and soon bears right to cross the River Taff. It continues through the suburb of Llandaff North to cross one of the Valley Lines by Llandaf station (note that the station only acknowledges the Welsh name whereas the Council and the road signs are bilingual).
The road soon bends sharply to the right to reach a roundabout on the original line of the A470, thus marking the original northern end of the A4054. Now, however, we turn left to pass to the east of Whitchurch Hospital. We then cross another railway bridge. Although Coryton station is adjacent the line under the bridge and north of here no longer exists and some of its route has been taken over by the current A470. We meet that road for the first time of many at the next roundabout, which is also M4 J32.
Leaving the roundabout, one of the largest in the country, the road doubles back on itself to rejoin its pre-M4 line. It then passes through Tongwynlais to meet the A470 again. After going over a southbound onslip it drops down to join it just before reaching a roundabout GSJ where the B4262 is also met. The A4054 leaves the roundabout along the northbound onslip before that bears off to the left (in a similar way to the other side of the roundabout), after which the road goes over the onslip and a railway line to run through Taff's Well. The River Taff is adjacent for a short distance, after which the road recrosses the railway line to run in a small gap between the river and the A470. As the three diverge a roundabout is reached from where a spur of the A4054 turns right to reach the A470 and A468.
The mainline of the A4054 turns left and there is a dual carriageway through the Treforest Industrial Estate to the next roundabout where we meet the A470 and A473. We actually cannon off the former and run through the village of Hawthorn before going under the A470 twice within half a mile. The road then runs alongside the river for a short distance, with Treforest itself on the far side. By the old bridge (the original line of the A473, now pedestrianised) the road splits with the northbound carriageway having to give way to an A470 offslip (the southbound carriageway goes underneath) before reaching a roundabout. The B4595 (another former route of the A473) turns left into Treforest whilst we go under the A470 to continue northwards.
Treforest – Merthyr Tydfil
After running through Glyntaff the A4054 and A470 run adjacent. The two roads diverge at the next GSJ (which is inaccessible from our road) and we pass through the eastern suburbs of Pontypridd. A poorly signed spur of the A4054 turns left to reach the town centre via the A470 and A4223. We continue north and run adjacent to the A470 again through – and out of – Cilfynydd, a distance of a couple of miles. A rural section, with the hill to the right steep in places, leads to traffic lights on the B4275 for Abercynon. The A4054 now becomes the main route from the town to the southbound A470 as the onslip turns off shortly afterwards (and then has to bend very sharply left to join the main road). We remain rural and still halfway up a hill and soon reach a roundabout on the A472.
The River Taff now detours to the east and we have to detour with it as we do not cross the river. A zigzag route is therefore followed through Quaker's Yard, sometimes with apparently little space between the river and the side of the valley for the road to fit in. We become rural again as we rejoin our northerly alignment, which takes us to Merthyr Vale. The B4285 then bears off left at a very sharp angle (the narrow road signposted to the station cuts off the corner) towards Aberfan. We then run through a narrow gap between the railway line and the edge of the valley (with the river just beyond the railway), with Aberfan clearly visible to the left. This takes us to Troedyrhiw, where initially the houses on the right have to be at height. We finally leave the railway line before the B4285 comes back in from the left; we're actually traffic-calmed at this point.
A roundabout in an industrial estate marks the entrance to Merthyr Tydfil. We go under the A4060 Eastern Bypass to pass Pentrebach station and cannon off that road at the next roundabout. A tree-lined road through an industrial estate leads to the residential part of town. We then bend to the left to go under the railway line to reach a roundabout on the southern edge of the town centre. The old A470 bore right here and followed the High Street, much of which is now pedestrianised. We, however, now bypass the town centre to the west, running alongside the River Taff on Avenue de Clichy (named after Merthyr's French twin town). Having passed the Civic Centre on our right we turn left at traffic lights – at the point where the A4102 comes in from the east – and shortly afterwards we cross the river.
The A4054 then TOTSOs right at a further set of traffic lights (the dual carriageway straight ahead is the resumed A4102, heading directly towards the Merthyr Western Bypass, the A470). Our own road now heads north to cross the river again and pass through an industrial estate before reaching a mini-roundabout, where it rejoins the old route of the A470. Here the A4054 turns left and continues along Brecon Road past Cyfarthfa Park, which makes the road seem rural. At the far end of the park we bear left to cross the Taf Fechan to run along the High Street of Cefn Coed. The A4054 then goes over the A465 (the next minor road to the left descending to meet its eastbound carriageway via a cattle grid) before we re-enter open country. The road passes a cemetery and enters the Brecon Beacons National Park. It ends shortly afterwards at a T-junction back on the A470.