A new section of traffic free walking and cycling path has between Abermule and Berriew has officially opened.
The £270,000, 1.5km section of new path was opened last week (Wednesday 20 June) near Berriew. The new section, which is already proving to be popular, forms part of the overall aim to get the route from Welshpool to Newtown as a traffic-free alternative to the main busy road.
The Welsh Government’s Safe Routes in Communities programme provided £220,000 of the funding after Powys County Council made a successful bid for the money while Visit Wales provided £50,000 for the project. The path was constructed by British Waterways and now offers uninterrupted walking and cycling access from Newtown to Berriew.
A cycle and pedestrian automatic counter has been installed as part of the project and early indications are that the number of people walking and cycling the path is high.
Cllr Barry Thomas, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “I’m delighted that a high number of people are already walking or cycling along this route. This great facility offers all kinds of opportunities including make leisure trips or using the route to travel into Newtown for work or shopping.
“The project has also been a good opportunity for the council to continue working in partnership with British Waterways to bring this route into fruition. Cycle route development across Powys is progressing well and it is good to see so many new cycle routes opening across all areas of the county.”
Carl Sargeant, the Welsh Government’s Minister with responsibility for Transport, said: “We’re committed to seeing a truly sustainable transport network in Wales that will encourage healthier lifestyles with more people cycling and walking.
"In addition to the recent launch of the Active Travel Bill White Paper the opening of the new walking and cycling path between Abermule and Berriew, with support from Welsh Government funding, is a reflection of this ambitious commitment and another step in the direction of making walking and cycling the most natural and normal way of making short everyday journeys.”
Jim Forrester, Chair, North Wales and Borders Waterway Partnership, said: “The improvements to the towpath will enable more people to enjoy the picturesque Montgomery canal and we are grateful for the support of our partners and funders in helping to achieve our aspiration to provide an improved route between Welshpool and Newtown.”