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

made a priority in Monmouth, and we have

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).

Cycling and walking routes are now being

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.

Annette Baker

(Monmouth Links Project Board)