Credit: Tess Lloyd

Demolition of Danescourt bridge will leave many residents feeling ‘trapped’

The alternative route includes steep steps and flooding risks – making life hard for wheelchair users and people with pushchairs

A BRIDGE which runs over Danescourt railway station, is set to be demolished by Transport for Wales next month to make way for a new Metro system – leaving residents with a real problem.

Lanks Hill Bridge, which connects two sides of Danescourt, is 350mm – just under 14in – too low for the overhead line equipment which needs to be installed. 

Removal of the bridge will make life hard for wheelchair-users and parents with pushchairs, as the proposed alternative route includes steep steps and flood risks.  

No official plans have been made for a replacement bridge, but Transport for Wales say they expect to build a replacement in the Autumn. This will leave many Danescourt residents “trapped” for over six months.

The bridge was due to be removed in January 2023 but has been postponed due to “local concerns” about accessibility. 

Alan MacLean, a teacher from Danescourt, no longer drives a car and instead uses a bicycle and trailer to get around Cardiff with his baby.  

“The bridge is our only lifeline to get through with our baby on the bike,” he told The Cardiffian. “It’s a major artery connecting us to the Taff Trail which we use to get everywhere in the city, and it also connects us to a lot of our social life in Whitchurch.”

The alternative route, proposed by Transport for Wales, is too narrow for the trailer to get through, and doesn’t have wheelchair, bicycle or pushchair access due to the steep steps connecting Radyr Court Road to Highfields. 

This will be a huge issue for Danescourt parents with young children who need to cross the bridge with pushchairs to get to Danescourt Primary School. 

The MacLean family rely on their cycle trailer to get around Cardiff with their baby. Credit: Alan MacLean

Tony Moon, who is retired and lives on Radyr Court Road next to the bridge, is also worried about accessibility. 

“The main objection we have is that we will be trapped! In February 2020, the railway flooded and cut Radyr Court Road off entirely from the outside world. Our only way over the floods was that bridge,” Mr Moon said. 

Radyr Court Road, which is a major part of the alternative route, flooded again in January 2023 after the River Taff burst its banks. 

Floods on Radyr Court Road, taken 12 January 2023. Credit: Caroline Thomas Ferguson

“It is clear that the people coming up with these plans are so far removed from the reality of life in Danescourt and how important that bridge is to people,” he added. 

A spokesperson from Transport for Wales told The Cardiffian: “The current bridge will be demolished in February and replaced with a newly constructed bridge this autumn. During the period when the bridge will be out of use, a diversion will be in place including a step-free route.” 

Yet the proposed route given to residents shows what have been described by multiple residents as “very steep steps”. 

“We use the bridge almost daily,” said Tess Lloyd, a 39 year old pharmacy dispenser.  

“During lockdown it was a lifeline for us, allowing us many adventures with our daughter who was three then. I know many of us feel like we’re being attacked from all sides with houses being built all around us, the council trying to build on our woods and now this,” she added. 

The planning application for the demolition of Lanks Hill Bridge currently has 11 objections.

The South Wales Metro, which will invest £800 million in faster, greener trains, will start work this year with the Core Valley Lines to Aberdare, Coryton, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhymney and Treherbert. 

“It will transform the way people travel in South Wales through an integrated network of bus, rail and active travel that will improve connectivity and make sustainable travel easier,” says Transport for Wales.