More than £1m worth of improvements have been made around Bridgend since the turn of the year to make it easier for people to go about their daily journeys in a more active way.
Anyone travelling along the A473 between Coychurch and Pencoed will have noticed the improvements that have recently been made to create a new shared route for pedestrians and cyclists.
Giving walkers and cyclists a safe alternative to the busy dual carriageway, the route was funded by £375,000 from the Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund.
It’s also now easier to cycle between Tondu and Bridgend town centre following the extension of the popular National Cycle Network Route 885 so that it now runs all the way to connect up with Bridgend Bus Station.
The recent work has included creating a new wide cycle path along the A4063 from Lewis Avenue, while the crossing point over the A4061 Boulevard De Villenave D’Ornon outside the Ravens Court office on Brewery Lane has been upgraded to become more bike-friendly.
That particular scheme was allocated nearly £300,000 from the Welsh Government’s Metro programme, while £186,000 was secured from its Safe Routes in Communities programme to complete the missing section of the shared cycling and walking path that runs through Laleston. All three schemes were managed by Bridgend County Borough Council.
Councillor Ceri Reeves, the council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“These schemes are helping to make it a much more viable prospect for local residents to rely less on their cars when making short journeys.
“Under the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013, local authorities have a duty to continually improve facilities for active travel year on year.
“Wales is leading the way on active travel and the Act also requires new road schemes to consider the needs of pedestrians and cyclists at the design stage.
“The completion of these recent improvements is another welcome step towards creating an integrated county borough wide network of active travel routes, and it has been great to see the new routes already being put to good use by all ages.”
Councillor Reeves added:
“Excellent progress is also being made on a scheme along Porthcawl seafront to make it even more bike friendly, while we are also investigating a number of other routes and have received funding for three further schemes elsewhere in the county borough which include provision of better facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. More details will be publicised about these forthcoming schemes soon.”
As part of its duties under the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013, Bridgend County Borough Council is also working on a map to show the future network of active travel routes that it would like to see developed over the next 15 years.
The map, which needs to be submitted to Welsh Government by September 2017, is being developed with assistance from local schools that are taking part in the Sustrans Active Journeys project to find out their views, and further consultation will also be held with the public later this year.