A470 road

A470 road

UK road routebox

Gabalfa flyover at the interchange with the A48 in Cardiff

road= A470
direction= South - North
start= Cardiff Bay
destinations= Cardiff
Merthyr Tydfil
Builth Wells
end= Llandudno
junctions= ukroadsmall|4119

The A470 is a major long-distance connective spine road in Wales, running from Cardiff on the south coast to Llandudno on the north coast. It covers approximately 186 miles (299km), over a zig-zagging route through the entirety of the country's mountainous central region, including the Brecon Beacons and much of Snowdonia National Park.

Though the southernmost 26 miles (42km) from Cardiff Bay to Merthyr Tydfil are mainly direct and good quality dual carriageway, and it remains a primary trunk route throughout its length, the great majority of the route from here north to the Llandudno seafront is single carriageway of variable quality (and even in brief instances single track) in order to accommodate the natural and built landscape. It takes in several town centres, right-angle (or tighter) divergent junctions and sharp curves.

Route in detail

The southernmost point of the route is at The Flourish, Cardiff Bay, outside the Wales Millennium Centre. It runs up Lloyd George Avenue (this was previously Collingdon Road, and the A470 previously ran along the parallel Bute Street), and continues along St. Mary Street in central Cardiff. The road then becomes North Road, and after a tidal flow system running to Maindy and then goes over the flyover at the Gabalfa interchange of the A48 and the A469. It becomes an urban dual-carriageway along Manor Way and Northern Avenue, with a convert|40|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on speed limit and with many traffic-signalled crossings. It passes without interruption under the M4 at the giant Coryton roundabout. For the next convert|15|mi|km it is a modern high-speed dual carriageway by-passing Tongwynlais and Castell Coch, Taff's Well, Pontypridd and Abercynon. At Quakers Yard roundabout , the A470 is joined by the A4059 from Abercynon, Aberdare and Hirwaun ; the A472 from Ystrad Mynach and Pontypool finally the A4054 from Quakers Yard, and Merthyr Tydfil.

From Quakers Yard roundabout (locally known as 'Fiddlers Elbow'), convert|11|mi|km of dual carriageway takes the road to the Pentrebach roundabout where the A4060 links, and then to the Merthyr Tydfil roundabout where the road meets the A465 and the dual carriageway ends. A twisting section alongside the Taf Fawr reservoirs of Llwynon, Cantref and Beacons takes the road to its highest point at Storey Arms on the pass over the Brecon Beacons before a long descent down to the town of Brecon. This marks the northernmost point of the "traditional" A470.

The remainder of the route north of Brecon consists of older routes now renamed 'A470'. This artificiality is apparent as a driver following the entire route north to south must diverge from the main line of respective stretches of road no fewer than five times. A short and dangerousFact|date=August 2008 three lane stretch heads north east before a sharp left turn is required to stay on the road. From this point on the road becomes narrow and twisting and overtaking is problematic except at a few straight sections. Another sharp left turn at a stop sign in Llyswen takes the road alongside the River Wye into Builth Wells.

In Rhayader there is a very narrow crossing in the centre of the town before the road returns to its usual narrowness heading up towards Llangurig. A right turn outside the village takes the road on past Llanidloes and then past Llandinam, the birthplace of David Davies and now the headquarters of Girl Guides Wales. Another anomalous left turn at a railway crossing sets the path for Caersws, Carno and Llanbrynmair. Just beyond the village of Talerddig the road descends and crosses under the Shrewsbury-Aberystwyth railway line. The long descent towards Commins Coch is a relatively new stretch of road that replaced a record breakingFact|date=August 2008 set of road-works that had traffic light controlled single lane working for over 10 years because of unstable ground conditions. The river bridge at Commins Coch is so narrow and set at such an angle that only one vehicle at a time can pass. At Cemmaes Road the road joins the A487 at a roundabout. A right turn at the roundabout takes the road on to Mallwyd where the A458 joins at yet another roundabout.

The country becomes more forested and the road climbs up through Dinas Mawddwy and then steeply up the eastern foot-hills of Cadair Idris before dropping down through tortuous bends to the Dolgellau by-pass. More sharp twists and turns in the forestry and through the village of Ganllwyd brings the road up onto the high plateau of the Cambrian dome where the road follows the ancient track of Sarn Helen Roman road passing the redundant nuclear power station at Trawsfynydd. A right turn beyond the power station takes the road on to Ffestiniog and Blaenau Ffestiniog before heading over the Crimea Pass to Dolwyddelan. A sharp left turn interrupts the A470 as it becomes the A5 for a short distance towards Betws-y-Coed before turning right again back onto the A470 just before Waterloo Bridge. Passing down the valley of the River Conwy the road passes through Llanrwst, Tal y Cafn and Glan Conwy, at which point there is a dual roundabout that intersects with the A55 North Wales Expressway before descending to the north coast at Llandudno.

History of numbering of the A470

According to the Bartholomew “Motorists’ Road Atlas Britain” (1971-72 edition) the original roads that now make up the A470 were as follows:-

From Cardiff to Brecon was the original A470. It originally ran into Brecon town centre and joined the A40 road. The old A470 between the by-pass and the town, along Newgate Street, is now the B4601. A4062 was the number for the section from the junction of the A40 and the B4601 – the Brecon (eastern) bypass to B4602 section. The B4601 was originally the A40 which ran through the town of Brecon. Similarly, the B4602 was originally the westernmost part of the A438.

The A438 was the original number for the road from the junction with B4602 to the sharp left turn where A470 turns north in the vicinity of Llanfilo. The A438 continues on from there to Hereford and Tewkesbury. From north of Llanfilo to Llyswen was the A4073. A479 originally linked the A40 west of Crickhowell to the A44 road at Rhayader. The A479 now runs only from Crickhowell to Llyswen. The stretch from Rhayader to Llangurig was the A44. OfficiallyDubious|date=August 2008, (according to the British Ordnance Survey Landranger Map sheet 136 Newtown & Llanidloes) this section is the A470 only, but some local signage shows A44/A470.

The next section, from Llangurig to Moat Lane (east of Caersws) was once the A492. The A492 originally ran from Llangurig to Newtown. The section Moat Lane to Newtown has since been renumbered A489. From Moat Lane to Glantwymyn the A470 replaced the A489. The A489 ran all the way from Machynlleth to the A49 road north of Craven Arms in south Shropshire. Now the A489 designation applies to two roads separated by convert|17|mi|km of the A470. Glantwymyn to Mallwyd was the A4084.

Originally starting at the Cross Foxes near Dolgellau the A458 now runs only from Mallwyd to Shrewsbury. It now starts at Mallwyd with the Mallwyd to Cross Foxes section being the A470. Cross Foxes to near Gellilydan (in the Meirionydd part of Gwynedd south of Ffestiniog) brings us to a complicated series of route renumbering. This stretch was originally the A487 which ran through Dolgellau town centre. The modern A470 bypasses the town using the line of the old Ruabon – Morfa Mawddach railway. The A487 number applies to two sections of the FishguardBangor trunk road with the A470 between Dolgellau and Gellilydan.

Gellilydan via Llan Ffestiniog to Blaenau Ffestiniog (Congl-y-Wal) was originally A4108. The A4108 used to stop where the A496 came up the hill from Maentwrog. The A496 has now been rerouted to pass Tanygrisiau following (in part) the old B4414 which was upgraded and now avoids Tanygrisiau.

One of the simplest sections is from Blaenau Ffestiniog (Congl-y-Wal) to Llandudno. Originally as the A496 it ran from west of Dolgellau via Barmouth, Maentwrog, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Betws-y-Coed, and Llanrwst to Llandudno. The section of road from Glan Conwy corner to Llandudno is a new well aligned direct route to Llandudno. The old A496 has been renumbered A547 between Glan Conwy and Llandudno Junction and A546 between Llandudno Junction and Llandudno. The A496 now numbers only the Dolgellau – Blaenau Ffestiniog coast road.

A470 - Other uses of the name

*the name of a Welsh language drama programme. This programme can be found on the Welsh language channel S4C.
*the name of a Welsh language On-Line Welsh Football Fanzine.
*was the name of a video and photo exhibition in 2001. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/1241998.stm] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1242021.stm]
*the name of a bi-monthly magazine, subtitled "What’s On In Literary Wales", containing commentary and up-to-date news of events. [http://www.academi.org/template4.cfm?category_id=40]
*the title of a Welsh language pop song.
*the name of a metal band from Wales

External links

* [http://www.road-to-nowhere.co.uk/route-guides/A470/ Road to Nowhere: A470]
* [http://www.uk-roads.org.uk/roadlists/r10/notes.php?number=A470 SABRE Roads By 10: A470]

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