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Village cut off by huge landslip

An Afan Valley village has been cut off after a massive landslide crashed down onto the only road in and out of it.Villagers trying to get to Glyncorrwg abandoned their cars and walked along the old railway line to get home, while those intending to go out had to give up and turn back.

Around 50 tonnes of debris swept off the mountainside onto the road, between Cymmer and Glyncorrwg, which remained blocked yesterday evening.

One villager said: "It was a real mess. If anyone had been walking or driving there when that lot came down, they would have been killed on the spot.

"It ripped down all the railings and blocked the road. I was on my way to a hospital appointment but even with my 4x4 I couldn't get it over, so I gave up, did a three-point turn and went back.

"People trying to get into the village were just leaving their cars on the roadside and walking along the railway line."

It is understood the landslip happened at around 1pm yesterday, and both sides of the road were still closed several hours later.

Police and fire crews were present, directing traffic and assisting with the clean-up operation.

A police spokesman said no properties in and around the village were affected and there was no risk to life.

Council head of streetcare services Mike Roberts said: "The initial report was that an estimated 50 tonnes of material was on the road, blocking it.

"We sent two JCBs up there to clear it, and our landslip expert was also there to examine the scene. At the moment I am awaiting further information."

Glyncorrwg's Neath Port Talbot councillor Glyn Rawlings said he imagined the road would have to be reduced to a single lane, controlled by traffic lights, while the mountainside was examined.

"It was obviously down to the weather," he added.

"We have had water coming off the mountain and leaving debris on the road in the past, but nothing on this scale.

"This time it is very serious because it is the main road into the village."

Newspaper: South Wales Evening Post
Date: 27/07/07