A new footbridge for walkers and cyclists named after world champion boxer Joe Calzaghe and his dad Enzo has been unveiled in Newbridge, South Wales.
The £3.2m Pont Calzaghe connects Newbridge town centre to its new rail station and continues over the River Ebbw to a leisure centre and comprehensive school.
The Calzaghe Bridge is part of a regeneration programme to re-establish Newbridge town centre as a focus of economic and social activity and it should cut journeys to and from the town’s rail station.
It brings together parts of Newbridge which, to pedestrians, were previously isolated from each other.
The town takes its name from an 18th Century bridge across the Ebbw, begging the question of whether it's time for a bit of civic rebranding now that Pont Calzaghe is open - 'Even Newerbridge', anyone?
Pont Calzaghe is just one of a number of bridges being constructed across Wales that have shared use as an integral part of their design.
Examples include the Sail Bridge in Swansea, the proposed Newport City Bridge, and a new bridge crossing the River Towy in Carmarthen.
Bridge-building activity isn't just confined to South Wales. At Llandudno Junction, which lies some 30 miles west of Chester, a bridge over the railway will allow cyclists and walkers from Conwy to reach the nearby RSPB reserve.
And cycling groups hope it will eventually provide a safe route from Glan Conwy to Llandudno, avoiding two roundabouts where the A55 Expressway crosses the A470.
Some of Wales’s new bridges cross busy roads that divide communities. Many close gaps in regional networks of traffic-free routes, and Sustrans Cymru, the charity behind many new shared-use bridges, hope the bridges will allow people to get around easily without a car.”
Cycling in Wales had more cause for celebration yesterday with the news that a new £7.6million investment will complete a £16million cycling and walking network in the South Wales Valleys. The money will fund 100 miles of new walking and cycling routes as part of the Valleys Cycle Network.
This will enhance more than 250 miles (410km) of existing routes in the Valleys, bringing the National Cycle Network to within two miles of a further 636,000 people.