Wales' 'most polluted' street to be knocked down next month

Image caption,
Planners hope that by demolishing the properties, a "canyon" effect will be removed to reduce air pollution concentrations

Homes in a Welsh village are to be knocked down because the street they're on has worse traffic pollution than in London.

Caerphilly council has lodged a planning application to demolish 23 properties on the A472 in Hafodyrynys, next month.

Nitrogen dioxide levels on the road have been recorded as the highest in the UK outside central London.

The council has bought the homes from owners for 50% above the market rate.

Previous traffic surveys have indicated that up to 21,000 vehicles use the road every day.

Initially, the council refused to buy the properties in Woodside Terrace, Crumlin, claiming greener vehicles would cut pollution by 2025.

But the Welsh Government, which helped fund the £6.7m scheme, told the council in 2019 to knock the homes down "without delay."

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said the demolition work was expected to start on Tuesday, 18 May, and expected to finish on 27 August.

The A472, between Newbridge and Pontypool, is the only road that links the Ebbw and Afon Lwyd valleys, other than the M4 motorway 10 miles south or the Heads of the Valley road 10 miles north.

It is hoped the demolition of the building, which will open up one side of the road to remove a "canyon" effect and reduce the concentration of the pollution.

Image caption,
Wales' most polluted stretch of road is on the main road between Pontypool and Newbridge

A planning application indicates that properties one to 20 Woodside Terrace, will all be knocked down..

There is a further detached property and a pair of semi-detached properties - one and two Woodside Shops.

It is hoped the demolition plan could help the area meet air quality requirements by 2022.