People in Merthyr Tydfil will soon have more opportunities to get around by bicycle and safer walking routes following the County Borough Council’s successful application for funding.
A total £365,000 is being awarded from the Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund towards projects including bringing back into use a dilapidated rural footpath linking a number of Merthyr Vale communities. Proposals to look further into reopening the Merthyr Tunnel are also being funded.
The Council is allocating £165,000 of the grant on turning The Gutty at Quaker’s Yard into a community path linking the main residential part of the village to existing routes to Treharris and further north in Merthyr Vale. Drainage and lighting will be provided to ensure the route can be used throughout the year, especially in the dark winter months.
The remainder of the money will go towards the further development of plans for access to the South East Metro stations, new signage to Merthyr Tydfil’s Active Travel Network routes, removing barriers to accessing routes and Active Travel Network bike hire.
A grant of £125,000 has been awarded to Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council to continue its partnership work with Merthyr Tydfil Council in looking at reopening the mile-and-a-half long Merthyr Tunnel to provide a direct, traffic-free route from Merthyr Tydfil to Aberdare.
“The Council’s Active Travel scheme is proposed to improve the attractiveness and safety of walking and cycling routes to key facilities and employment,” said County Borough Council Cabinet member for Regeneration and Public Protection Cllr Geraint Thomas.
“For safety, health and environmental reasons, we want to improve active travel routes to the rail network as an alternative to using cars for commuting.”
Cllr Thomas said he was delighted with the grant aid for the Merthyr Tunnel proposals, which would allow the two local authorities to carry out further reviews of the viability of the scheme.
Providing there were no major issues, the findings would then inform bids for more significant support from a range of potential funders to be taken forward in the next financial year.