|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Merthyr Vale (ST077996)|
|Distance:||2.3 miles (3.7 km)|
|Route outline (key)|
The road starts on the A4054 in Troed-y-rhiw and heads west along the traffic-calmed Bridge Street under the railway line by the station and then over the River Taff. On the far side the road bears sharply left and heads south along Glantaff Road, presently losing the speed bumps and entering open country.
We continue downstream along the valley bottom and it's not long before we reach the long, narrow village of Aberfan. At the first roundabout encountered in the village a new road opened in late 2015 bypasses the narrow streets in the shadow of the site of the October 1966 tip collapse that wiped out 116 villagers, mostly children. The site of the former Pantglas school, now a garden of remembrance, is signposted from this point. The bypass also takes traffic away 1912 vintage bridge at Nixonville which was subject to a weight limit and has since been demolished as part of a flood relief scheme, leaving the multi-coloured houses disguising the many scars this village has to bear in a cul-de-sac with a footbridge linking the two sides.
Rejoining the original alignment there is a steep climb back up to the A4054, which is really par for the course in the valleys of South Wales. As ever, the new road construction has erased virtually all evidence that there was heavy coal mining in this area, particularly given the line of the road is directly across the former Merthyr Vale colliery; the regeneration of the valleys marches on and new employment opportunities are created.