Leanne Wood has pledged to continue the fight for new cycle paths for the Rhondda in the New Year.
The Assembly Member for the Rhondda was speaking after writing to the local authority and the Welsh Government to find out their plans to upgrade the walking and cycling network in the Fach and the Fawr.
In correspondence with the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, Leanne asked for the glaring omissions in the cycle network of the Rhondda to be sorted out in order to encourage physical activity and lower car emissions.
In response the Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates said that he had awarded a total of £3.2 million in the current budget to RCT County Borough Council, adding that he was ‘confident that over the coming years we will see the improvements you refer to.’
Leanne said she was looking to issue a report in the New Year that she has commissioned Sustrans to write which would map out how Rhondda could develop with enhanced cycling infrastructure. Some of this success would be based on building on the existing success stories like Barry Sidings and the Cwm Cycling Rhondda project.
The report follows on from a successful meeting earlier this year that Leanne arranged between a variety of groups interested in cycling and organisations able to provide funding for cycling projects.
“Cycling provision could be so much better in the Rhondda,” said Leanne. “When you look at the network in other parts of Wales we are a long way behind. Improving cycling infrastructure is key if we are to tackle obesity, reduce pollution and even encourage more visitors to the area.
“A good cycle path up the Fawr is also key if the Rhondda Tunnel, once opened, is to achieve its full potential as a well-used route for local people and as a draw for cycling tourists.
“With so many people and groups coming together to improve cycling – and money in the budget to facilitate such improvements – I will be banging the drum loudly for better provision for the Rhondda and cyclists. Watch this space!”