|From:||Upper Boat (ST105870)|
|Distance:||18.6 miles (29.9 km)|
|Meets:||A470, A4054, B4595, A4119, A4222, B4280, M4, B4181, A48, A4063, B4622|
|Old route now:||B4595, B4181|
|Route outline (key)|
The A473 is a semi-rural A-road in south Wales.
Upper Boat – Laleston (Bridgend)
The road begins at a roundabout junction with the A470 and A4054 between Pontypridd and Caerphilly. The road immediately crosses the River Taff then TOTSOs right at traffic lights. It heads west away from the Taff, bending round and climbing towards Church Village, finally heading south west towards Llantrisant (home of the Royal Mint).
We cross the A4119 dual carriageway (linking to M4 junction 34) at a roundabout, then head west via Llanharan towards Pencoed. On the outskirts of Pencoed, we pass the site of the old Opencast mine at Llanharan. For many years (certainly in the 1980s and 1990s) there was a huge spoil heap from the workings, which was visible from the M4, but this has now been removed.
The final kilometre before the M4 is dual-carriageway, giving access to retail parks, then we pass under the motorway at a grade-separated roundabout at junction 35. Another five miles of dual carriageway takes us past the South Wales Police HQ to a cannon with the A48 at a roundabout to the south of Bridgend. In the middle of town, we turn left, back to the A48 at a roundabout near Laleston.
Originally the A473 started in Pontypridd and headed south through Treforest and Church Village to meet its current route at Llantristant. The bypass was completed in 2010. The A473 had had a spur (numbered recently) to meet the A470 at Upper Boat; with the completion of the bypass the old road was renumbered as an extension of the B4595 and the spur became the final section of the A473.
At the other end, the A473 ran along most of the current B4181 to end on the original line of the A48 in Bridgend. By 1932 the road had been extended bypassing Bridgend to end in Laleston and in 1935 the obvious took place, with the A48 moving to the bypass and the A473 taking that road's old route through town.