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Council reveals 15-year plans to improve walking and cycling routes

08 November 2017

Following significant public consultation, Bridgend County Borough Council has revealed its 15-year vision for improving walking and cycling routes so that it can become more realistic for local residents to rely less on their cars for everyday journeys.

The council has earmarked more than 150 proposals including new or improved routes and crossing points across the county borough after gaining views from local people on what they needed to help them travel in a more active way, either using two wheels or on foot.

The proposals will improve access to town centres, employment sites, retail areas, transport hubs, schools and colleges, and will also expand the existing cycle network within the county borough.

In a report presented to Cabinet Members last week, a mix of short, medium and long term improvements were detailed which will be developed within the next five, ten or fifteen years depending on their complexity. All of the proposals are also subject to funding being available.

In accordance with the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 the council has submitted the detailed plans and route maps to the Welsh Government for Ministerial approval, and residents can view all of the documents for themselves here.

Councillor Richard Young, the council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We are excited about these proposals that will improve our Active Travel network even further. Not only will the improvements make our county borough safer for local residents to walk and cycle, but they’ll also benefit the environment by reducing the reliance on cars, and will also help to boost physical activity levels and improve mental wellbeing by making simple exercise even more accessible.

“A huge amount of work has gone into this and I would like to thank all of the many residents, schools, community groups, local councillors and council officers that have been involved in the process.

“It was imperative for us to understand what barriers are preventing people from choosing a healthier and greener form of travel for their everyday journeys to school, college, work, the shops and other places as they go about their lives.

“Naturally, some schemes are more complicated than others, for example where there are ecological, land or planning issues that need to be considered, and whether there are any legal processes to follow first.

“Our Active Travel Integrated Network Maps show a detailed and ambitious vision for what is needed to make Bridgend County Borough one of the greenest and most accessible places in the country.

“It’s also an example of consultation at its most effective – we asked what new Active Travel routes and improvements residents wanted to see, and will now work to create them over the next fifteen years.”

Short-term schemes include adding drop-kerbs, wider footways and pedestrian crossings where they aren’t already found along some of the county borough’s most well-used walking routes, while more longer-term schemes include a new off-road route from Llangynwyd to Maesteg Comprehensive School, a safe walking path between Bryntirion Comprehensive School and Penyfai, and better links from Newton to Porthcawl town centre.

Councillor Young added: “Research from sustainable transport charity Sustrans has found that there is huge potential for change in Wales, with more than one-in-five car journeys being made under two miles in length – a distance that can be easily walked or cycled.

“As a result, we will be prioritising shorter, urban routes due to the greater potential number of people who would make use of them, but other longer-term schemes have also been earmarked including Pyle to Porthcawl, Maesteg to Tondu, and Bridgend to Porthcawl.”

The provisions of the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 only apply to certain areas designated by the Welsh Government where it is believed that there is potential for active travel and where there are over 2,000 residents. Within Bridgend County Borough, there are nine such areas, which are Betws, Bridgend, Gilfach Goch, Maesteg, Ogmore Vale, Pencoed, Pontycymer, Porthcawl and Pyle.

Last Updated: 08/11/2017
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