for economy and transport, leuan Wyn Jones, has announced details
of a cycling and walking network in the South Wales Valleys. £7.6
million is to be invested to finish a £16 million project
producing 100 miles of new walking and cycling routes for the
Valleys Cycle Network. When completed, the National Cycle Network
will be brought within two miles of an extra 636,000 people. It
is hoped that the network will encourage cyclists and walkers
while also improving health and cutting congestion and carbon
emissions. Following former railways and tramways, the scheme
will link existing routes in Swansea, Llynfi, Taff, Ely and Ebbw
Valleys and will improve cycle access for areas including Merthyr
Tydfil, Pontypridd, Llantrisant and Pontypool.
Sustrans-led project will be funded with £3.5m from the Convergence European Regional
Development Fund and £3m from the Welsh Assembly Government.
The remainder will be provided by the Big Lottery Fund. Added
to the previous £8.2m allocated to the project, a total
of £16m will be spent on the Valleys Cycle Network.
Jones said: 'We are committed
to providing more cycling and walking routes throughout Wales,
helping people to reduce car journeys and provide them with healthy
and cost effective access to employment and training opportunities. This
project will bring immense benefits to the health and well-being
of people in the South Wales Valleys, and to the environment
of the area by reducing emissions caused by car use. It will
form part of a wider scheme which will encourage more route users
across the whole of Wales. As
demonstrated in our National Transport Plan, we are more committed
than ever before to providing more safe cycling and walking routes
throughout Wales and will continue to work in partnership with
Sustrans to do so.'
Leighton Andrews, Deputy Minister
for Regeneration, added: 'The emphasis is on promoting the natural
environment and cultural heritage and concentrates on outdoor
activities such as walking and cycling. The development of an
extensive off road network of footpaths, trail and cycleways
is a key element of this project which makes this latest investment
development such good news.'
Sustrans Cymru Director Lee
Waters said: 'These new routes will make it easier for the people
of the valleys to get around their communities and to work on
foot or by bike, and will also form part of a larger network
that will attract tourists from across the country.'
Written by Jonathon Harker and published by Bike Biz on 10th
September 2009 at 9:10 a.m.