A MAJOR infrastructure project is set to bring significant employment opportunities and ease congestion in Cross Hands.

Construction work has started on phase two of the Cross Hands Economic Link Road.

Alan Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd are carrying out the work in behalf of the council, with preliminary works now underway.

The road will serve the Cross Hands East Strategic Employment Site which is set to become the next major employment zone in the county, with the potential to create up to 1,100 jobs.

The route extends northwards from Black Lion Road to Norton Road and on to the A476 north east of Gorslas.

It will provide a direct access from the north to the Cross Hands East Strategic Employment Site and will relieve congestion at the main A48 Cross Hands Roundabout and improve safety at the ‘six ways’ junction at Gorslas square.

Executive Board Member for Transport and Highways Cllr Hazel Evans said: “This is a very exciting project, the link road will open up land along the A48 corridor bringing major opportunities for development and economic growth and providing much needed jobs for the area.

“It will also benefit the local community by helping to alleviate congestion at Cross Hands Roundabout and improving safety at Gorslas Square; and there are environmental benefits too. We are helping to safeguard and improve further pasture habitat in and around the Cross Hands strategic growth area to help the threatened Marsh Fritillary butterfly to thrive*.”

The scheme, which will cost approximately £10.4 million, has received funding of £1.5 million from Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund 2017/18, with further funding allocated from the council’s capital programme.

Discussions with landowners are ongoing and construction works expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Council Leader Emlyn Dole, who is responsible for Economic Development and represents Carmarthenshire on the Swansea Bay City Region, said: “Cross Hands East, as part of the wider growth zone, is strategically located within Carmarthenshire and the Swansea Bay City Region, offering businesses great opportunity to expand and develop. This site alone has major employment potential and is vital to the council’s economic development plans creating hundreds of new jobs.”

Griffiths has a community liaison officer Gail Jones to act as a point of contact for residents to keep them informed and answer any questions or concerns relating to the work.

Gail said: “Griffiths are pleased to be back working in Cross Hands on behalf of the council on such an exciting infrastructure project.”

*The wider Cross Hands area is located within the Caeau Mynydd Mawr Special Area of Conservation (SAC) designated to protect the habitat of the Marsh Fritillary butterfly.