Bridgend active travel routes get £620,000 funding boost

Bridgend County Borough Council has received almost £620,000 from the Welsh Government for temporary and permanent active travel routes.

The successful bid, submitted by the local authority in May, is aimed at promoting walking and cycling in the area by improving the safety conditions of walking and cycle paths both during and following the COVID-19 crisis.

The total grant of £619,317 will help improve and/or provide more than 150 pedestrian and cycle crossing points in communities across the county borough. The tactile crossings enable a more defined space for pedestrians and cyclists to crossroads.

The funding will also enable part of the road space between Coychurch Roundabout and Bridgend town centre to become a temporary active travel route for 12 weeks. The 2.5km section will include Kingsway Avenue on the Bridgend Industrial Estate, York Road to Cowbridge Road. If successful, it could become permanent.

However, one of the schemes submitted as part of the funding bid involving the completion of the Porthcawl coastal path along the front of Trecco Bay did not receive funding.

“We were asked to submit proposals which would encourage more people to make walking and cycling journeys now and in the future. The measures had to physically change the walking and cycling environment,” said the council’s cabinet member for communities Richard Young.

“While it’s disappointing not to receive funding for all of the projects we submitted funding bids for, we are delighted with the grant from Welsh Government which enables us to press ahead with plans which have been in the pipeline for some time.

“We will be monitoring the impact of the temporary active travel route between Coychurch Roundabout and Bridgend town centre, and making adjustments if necessary.”

In total, the Welsh Government has allocated more than £15 million to local authorities as part of its support for local sustainable transport measures in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Lee Waters, the deputy minister for economy and transport, said: “During this lockdown, we have seen a real change in people’s behaviours, with more and more of us choosing to walk and cycle for necessary journeys.

“When we have been able to get out of the house it has been great to enjoy the cleaner air and quieter streets. But it’s clear we’ve got to take action now to lock-in for the long-term many of those changed behaviours we have seen by making a positive choice to reallocate road space in our town centres and in our communities and to give it over to better active travel infrastructure.

“We asked local authorities to prioritise those schemes which can be delivered within the next three to four months and which can have the greatest impact in their local area – hopefully making a real difference to how people see and get around their local area.”

Earlier this year, Bridgend County Borough Council completed work on a £1.5 million safe pedestrian and cycle route linking both Pencoed and Coychurch to Bridgend.

The local authority is also currently awaiting the outcome of a £4 million active travel package it submitted in February for 2020/21 covering improvements to the Bridgend to Pencoed route, an active travel route between Pyle and Porthcawl, and a further one between Bridgend and the Bridgend Designer Outlet.

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