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Alternate route is said to be too steep for many cyclists

Campaigners are calling on authorities to begin the process of compulsory purchase of a small strip of land midway along National Cycle Route 46 near Abergavenny. The current landowners won’t let cyclists pass over 700 yards of their land which has necessitated a steep diversion.

Wales Online reports that there is a small 700-yard gap in National Cycle Route 46 between the villages of Gilwern and Clydach.

Abergavenny Cycling Group have launched a petition calling for the council to grant a compulsory purchase order.

The group’s chair Jack Thurston, said:

“It’s so frustrating because cyclists literally have to turn back once they get to the middle of the route.

“The diversion forces cyclists to go up and down a steep gorge alongside a busy road. It’s far too difficult for children and older people who might not have the power in their legs to pedal.

“Every year children from local schools go on charity bike rides and this is limiting how far they can go.”

Thurston says the land in question isn’t someone’s garden, “it’s just low-grade scrubland.” He believes that if the path were finished, it would encourage families from Abergavenny and Brynmawr to cycle between the two towns.

“Monmouthshire hails itself as the Welsh capital of cycling, but what is particularly galling is they’ve granted compulsory orders to build carriageways through the Valleys but they’ve done nothing to improve cycling conditions,” he said.

Network Manager Paul Keeble said:

“The council is supportive of the benefits that would be provided by incorporating the missing link into the Abergavenny to Brynmawr cycle route but no progress has been possible due to land ownership issues. Sustrans has long considered this as a key gap in the National Cycle Network in the area and a request has previously been made to Welsh Government to help with acquiring the land.

“Despite these difficulties, Monmouthshire County Council would welcome the opportunity to progress this scheme as part of a wider programme of route improvements, with support from Sustrans.”

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6 comments

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Grahamd [723 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I have used this route many times, it is ridiculous that this stretch has never been purchased. The land is not being used and the last time I spoke to the owner it was apparent that he had no inclination to part with it. 

Millions of punds has been spent on the neatby A465 including a number of compulsary purchases yet no effort appears to have been made in this regard.

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burtthebike [1187 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

If this land was needed for a new road, it would have been compulsarily purchased years ago and the drivers would already be calling for the road to be widened.  But it's only cyclists, so it doesn't matter.

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rogermerriman [131 posts] 1 year ago
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There are far worse further up, due to the dualing of the A465 nr Brynmawr.

 

firstly the route, is above but realisticly not in the villages of Clydach or Gilwern, the slopes from it, to the villages are steep, the too steep ramp which is 10% ish is by far the mildest aproach.

 

secondly i'm rather feel the school kids is fairly dubious argument, of the three closest villages only Gilwern school is still open, Clydach school closed 10 years ago, and Govilon 6 years ago.

 

Gilwern school is only a mile and half from the closest (reasonable acess) but would be 500ft of climbing and crossing busy trunk roads/and large village center. Realisticly you'd drive primarly kids closer.  At which point the steep ramp is frankly irrelvent either side of the land it's 6 or 5 miles round trip on the old railwayline, off road. if your happy with lanes more.

 

It's 99.9% leisure route, I can't see compulsory purchase order for such a low used leisure route, it's mostly dog walkers on the weekends see the odd MTBer.  To the best of my (local) knowlege the farmer isn't oposed to selling it, but at market value. which frankly is fair enough.

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mrtrilby [14 posts] 1 year ago
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There's nothing dubious about the school kids argument - I was there this week with my two school age children (10 and 13) and we rode up that exact route from the centre of Abergavenny. There are plenty of schools and children in Abergavenny. 

It's a fantastic route that lets you cycle virtually entirely off road from the very centre of Abergavenny right up into the mountains, via a relatively gentle and exceptionally scenic old railway track. Once at the top, there are miles of old railway tracks to explore, taking you to some brilliant world heritage sites.

It's very much not a trivial route - it's a key route for cycle tourism in the area.

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VeloPeo [353 posts] 1 year ago
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Worse on the 46 around Merthyr Tydfil. Again, a landowner won't sell and there's a section north of the link below where the only alternative is to use the A465 Heads of the Valleys - it's aout 1km averaging 6% on a road where the speed limit is 60mph

https://goo.gl/maps/eUuu8rcVCg72

Sustrans comedy website only mentions this

Quote:

Route Details

Distance: 80 miles
Route Gaps: Large gap between Worcester and Hereford.  Gaps around Merthyr Tydfil.

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-46

And dress it up as

Quote:

The beauty of this bumper trail is that accomplished cyclists can ride it all the way or families can choose quiet chunks for a perfect day out.

They're utterly inept

 

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rogermerriman [131 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
mrtrilby wrote:

There's nothing dubious about the school kids argument - I was there this week with my two school age children (10 and 13) and we rode up that exact route from the centre of Abergavenny. There are plenty of schools and children in Abergavenny. 

It's a fantastic route that lets you cycle virtually entirely off road from the very centre of Abergavenny right up into the mountains, via a relatively gentle and exceptionally scenic old railway track. Once at the top, there are miles of old railway tracks to explore, taking you to some brilliant world heritage sites.

It's very much not a trivial route - it's a key route for cycle tourism in the area.

 

At that ages why not take the quiet lanes and bypass gilwern station it's a far milder route? 

 

From the primary schools in abergavenny it's at least a 8 mile round trip and probably need to be bused to the start any way.

 

for most kids of that ages 4 miles uphill even if low grade is enough. Thinking school trips and what not.

 

There is cycling tourisum in the area, but more trail centres or riding up the Blorange/Pen Y Fan and such. That route (my folks live just off it) even in the summer has a tiny numbers of cyclists mid week single figures per day. 

 

In spite of some claims Sutrans have no right to compulsory purchase, for such a lightly used leisure route it's unlikely to put it mildly.

 

Sustrans have over the years been spectaculars poor at negotiations mainly telling different people different things, and coming in fairly hard. Which unsurprisingly put people's backs up.