VALE council deputy leader, Cllr Lis Burnett has been joined by Welsh Government minister for economy and transport Ken Skates AM to mark the opening of the new A4226, known locally as Five Mile Lane.

In a joint project that saw investment of more than £20 million, the new route, which runs from the Sycamore Cross junction of the A48 to the Weycock Cross roundabout in Barry, is intended to be safer than its predecessor and offer improved journey times.

The scheme also brings a significant environmental benefit, with a range of plants along its route creating an ecological corridor.

To improve safety and encourage more active forms of travel, the scheme includes an improved cycling network with dedicated cycle and pedestrian paths and a bridleway for those who enjoy horse riding.

The new road bypasses the winding central section of the old one, has improved drainage and offers a far more direct route between the A48 in the north to the town of Barry on the coast.

Cllr Burnett said: “I’m delighted to announce the completion of this scheme, which has been delivered on time and within budget.

"This represents a significant upgrade to a busy stretch of our highway network.

“This road has been dramatically improved to offer a quicker and safer route between Barry and the A48 that will be of major benefit to the large number of Vale residents that use it.”

Mr Skates said: “The improvements to the Five Mile Lane will bring real benefits and I’m pleased the Welsh Government has been able to fund the project.

“Its location means it will improve access to employment opportunities in the area, and crucially the combined footway and cycleway will provide a safer route for active travel as we work towards the commitments of the Active Travel Act.”

Parts of the old road will remain open, connected to the new one through three junctions, to allow access to Duffryn, Moulton and Walterston.