ROUTES for a new road from the M4 to Swansea’s Morriston Hospital are being looked at by health chiefs.
There are plans to expand services at Morriston and build a new campus-style development, and 55 acres of land to the north of the hospital have been acquired for this purpose.
A Swansea Bay University Health Board spokeswoman said: “The proposed new access road is key to future developments on the Morriston Hospital site, and as such, careful consideration is being given to a number of route options.”
The health board would need to submit a business case for the road to the Welsh Government, and also secure planning consent. The hospital lies to the north of the M4 between junctions 45 and 46.
Swansea University, the health board and neighbouring Hywel Dda University Health Board put forward a proposal in 2017 to better align health services, skills and education, and research and development in life sciences across the region.
The idea behind the proposal – called A Regional Collaboration for Health (Arch) – was that a joined-up regional approach could meaningfully improve the population’s health and well-being, with the research and innovation element creating well-paid jobs.
The principles behind the Arch proposal have been taken up in a City Deal project for the Swansea Bay City Region. The £132 million project, which has been approved by the UK and Welsh governments, will deliver new campus-style developments at Morriston Hospital and Swansea University’s Singleton Campus in two phases.
The first tranche of funding will cover planning costs for new road access from the M4 to the 55 acres of land by Morriston Hospital, among other things. The second, larger phase of the project is expected to create an innovation campus on this land.
The development of a new road has been welcomed by South Wales West MS, Dr Altaf Hussain, who contacted the health board’s chief executive, Mark Hackett, about it.
The Welsh Conservative MS said: “I queried what was happening in the light of the Welsh Labour Government’s roads review which has seen the majority of new roads being scrapped. However, I am assured that as this is an access road it is not affected by this new policy.
“I gather that the health board is seeking funding from Welsh Government for a host of new developments planned for Morriston and that this road is part of that package.”