MONEY has been secured to build the first phase of an active travel plan that eventually aims to connect Bow Street to Aberystwyth with a foot and cycle path.
Transport for Wales (TfW) which administers the Active Travel Fund Grant on behalf of the Welsh Government, has awarded Ceredigion County Council nearly £1.5 million for construction of the first phase of a new shared use path for pedestrians and cyclists, which will help to further connect Aberystwyth with nearby settlements of Comins Coch, and eventually, with Penrhyncoch and Bow Street.
Cllr Keith Henson, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environmental Services and Carbon Management, said: “I am delighted to hear that the council has been awarded this grant funding to start constructing this new active travel link.
"Due to the scale of the scheme it will take a couple of years to complete the full link to Plas Gogerddan where it will connect with Bow Street and Penrhyncoch via the existing shared use path network built by the council in recent years.
"This is fantastic news, especially for residents of Comins Coch and pupils attending Comins Coch Primary School because the new path will have a direct connection.
"The council declared a global climate emergency in 2020 and expanding the active travel network in the county will make it easier and safer for residents to make walking and cycling journeys to reduce vehicle usage, helping to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to cleaner air ambitions whilst providing real opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to lead healthier and happier lifestyles.”
In recent years, officers have been working to develop this scheme in conjunction with a number of partners and stakeholders which has included securing land to enable the new shared use path to be constructed.
This has included ecology and Sustainable Drainage regulations, obtaining planning permission and development work is ongoing in order to progress future phases to construction.
Aberystwyth University is a key stakeholder in the project and released land for the construction of the link between Bow Street, Gogerddan and Penrhyncoch.
It continues to support the project being developed by Ceredigion County Council which will help create a ‘Campus to Campus’ link between Gogerddan Campus, which includes AberInnovation and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), with the Penglais Campus.
Cllr Henson continued: “It is currently anticipated that construction work near Comins Coch Primary School will commence during the school summer holidays in order to help limit disruption to parents and pupils.
"A new cycle shelter has already been installed at the school to help encourage pupils and staff to cycle to the school.
"The council is in ongoing dialogue with Welsh Government and its North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent officers who manage the A487 Trunk Road in order to coordinate construction works along this section of the scheme.”
Professor Neil Glasser, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Lead for Sustainability at Aberystwyth University said: “We are delighted to support this development and to facilitate the work being undertaken by the Council by providing the strip of land that will make it possible to connect the Gogerddan and Penglais campuses for the benefit of our students, staff and the wider community. The work will also contribute to promoting cycling and walking as alternative low carbon forms of transport as the University works towards establishing a carbon neutral estate by 2030.”
Cllr Paul Hinge, who represents Tirymynach (Bow Street) said the news was amazing, addling: "I'm delighted this scheme has funding. Anything that takes vehicles off the route and encourages people to be active should be a priority.
"The paths in Bow Street have proved popular."