I write in response to Andrew Rossiter's letter
('So where's that cycle path?', 3rd February).
Mr Rossiter is suggesting that a small
group could do better than a large, national
one. Not in our case, I'm afraid. A small local
group cannot put in place cycling routes, however
much it would like to. That is a job for
local authorities and funding bodies.
Our small, local group has been campaigning
for five years to ensure cycling routes are
had some success.
The planning application for part of our
route finally went to the Planning Department
last week. This part of the route extends
from Redbrook Road, across the old iron
bridge and into town via Troy Gardens, Beech
Road and the path along the Monnow.
The planning application should be available
to view online in the next few weeks, and
I will write to the Beacon again with further
We were lucky enough to be chosen by Sustrans
to receive £250,000 from their £50 million
Connect2 lottery win, and have been allocated
£680.000 by SEWTA (Welsh Assembly money).
given a much higher priority than previously,
and you can see from an article in a recent
Beacon ('Money for cycle paths', 3rd February)
that Sustrans has been partially successful in
its campaign for dedicated Welsh Assembly
money to maintain cycle routes – money that
will come from the roads budget. Obviously
the recent extreme weather has put heavy
demands on this pot of money, as holes appear
in our roads.
We have difficult choices to make, but
extreme weather conditions are likely to worsen
as the climate changes. Ensuring that local
people can choose to walk or cycle around
their communities safely and peacefully is
part of the attempt to slow down these
Although there have been many frustrations
along the way, we have found that local
groups can make a difference, but obviously
cannot be responsible for engineering, planning
etc. Without the enormous expertise and
encouragement of the agents from Sustrans,
none of these plans could have come to this
stage. Last year Monmouthshire County
Council signed up to provide the core route of
our plans.We, and hopefully you too, will continue
to press for this.
I am sorry I could not report more progress
sooner, and I do understand the frustration
this is bound to cause local residents. However,
we will get there. Meanwhile, if you support
us, please send your letters and emails to
the Planning Department at Monmouthshire
County Council, as it is vitally important that
we can show support from the community.
If you would like further information, contact
With regard to the beautiful stone viaduct,
if there is anyone out there with the time and
energy to campaign to save this part of Monmouth's
heritage, please give it a go. It is more
than worth it.
(Monmouth Links Project Board)