As part of the Welsh Government’s Active Travel Fund 2023/24, Monmouthshire County Council has received £6.99million for this financial year, the highest allocation in Wales. This comes after successive years of increased funding for strategic projects across the county, echoing the commitment Monmouthshire has made towards enabling people to walk, wheel and cycle instead of using their car.
Monmouthshire County Council has also received £500k in core funding, which is to be used for the design and development of the Wye Bridge and Wyesham Links projects, and for smaller projects around the county, focussing on minor improvements to Active Travel routes, bringing them up to the required standards.
Active Travel is the term used for getting around via walking, cycling and wheeling (which includes wheelchairs and mobility scooters), instead of by car for short everyday journeys, such as going to school, work or shopping. Monmouthshire has a ten-year plan for improvements across the county, which has been divided into specific projects.
In Abergavenny the newly announced funding will see the Phase 1 construction of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the River Usk about 50 metres east of the existing road bridge. The crossing between Castle Meadows and Ysbytty Fields will make it healthier and safer for walkers and ‘wheelers’ to get into town and to the railway station. It will mean that residents will be able to travel from Llanfoist into Abergavenny to work, to school or to appointments, without having to walk alongside cars and lorries. Visit www.monlife.co.uk/outdoor/active-travel/abergavenny/ to find out more about this exciting project.
In Caldicot the Active Travel route will utilise the disused railway line turning it into a new walking and wheeling route. It will provide a car-free link between Caldicot Castle and Country Park to Church Road that will take people through the countryside and away from the roads. It will also enable local people working at Mitel, Castlegate business park and Seven Bridge Industrial Estate to travel off-road from their neighbourhood to work. For more information visit www.monlife.co.uk/outdoor/active-travel/caldicot/
In Monmouth the funding will see the continued development of a foot and cycle bridge across the Wye progress. The bridge which has received support from many residents is currently in the planning stage. It will provide a safe route from Wyesham into Monmouth for students heading to school. It will also be a benefit to anyone wanting to travel to work or appointments safely, away from the cars and lorries on the busy Wye road bridge.
Also in Monmouth, the Williams Field Lane Links scheme is going ahead. It will see major improvements to the pedestrian and cycling route from Williams Field Lane to Monnow Bridge, making it easier and safer to travel into the centre of the town at any time of day and any time of the year. There will also be a new crossing across Wonastow Industrial Estate, as part of the wider scheme connecting Kingswood Gate to the heart of Monmouth. For more information about the Monmouth projects visit www.monlife.co.uk/outdoor/active-travel/monmouth/
Cllr. Sara Burch, Cabinet Member for Inclusive and Active Communities, said: “This is fantastic news for the county and highlights the steps Monmouthshire is taking to encourage more people to support Active Travel and leave the car at home. Soon we will start seeing large projects beginning to be delivered on the ground, which will help decarbonise our transport, one journey at a time. We are committed to working with the Welsh Government to deliver our shared vision – a Wales where walking and cycling are the safe and normal choice for local trips.”
“These Active Travel schemes have been developed and shaped by the needs of our communities, who we are continually engaging and listening to. We’ve been hearing from people for many years who about the need for inclusive, accessible routes. Today marks a big step forward to delivering this for Monmouthshire and its communities.”
“This total funding of £7.49million is the largest ever Active Travel award achieved by Monmouthshire County Council from Welsh Government, demonstrating its commitment to improving walking, cycling and wheeling routes within the county. Previous awards included £3.9million in 22/23, £3million in 21/22 and £1.8million in 20/21.”