Leanne Wood has held a roundtable meeting to promote cycling in the Rhondda.
The Rhondda AM invited people from various organisations to come together with the aim of improving infrastructure and accessibility to the sport for people of all ages and abilities.
Present at the meeting – which took place at the Barry Sidings café near Trehafod – were representatives of Natural Resources Wales, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Pen Y Cymoedd windfarm, Arriva Trains Wales, Rhondda Tunnel Society, Welcome to Our Woods, Sustrans, Cwm Cycling, Cambrian Village Trust and Bike Doctor; the business which runs the café and has a local bike shop.
During the meeting cycling provision in the Rhondda was discussed, along with ways in which it can all be improved and the funding opportunities to make it happen. The meeting ended with an agreement to bring together the various groups in the Rhondda and beyond to work together to enhance cycling provision.
Afterwards, Leanne said: “I was really pleased with how the roundtable meeting went. Many different groups came together to discuss what can be done to transform cycling in the Rhondda. At the moment we have some pockets of good practice but there is work to be done to join everything up together.
“My vision would be for a cycle path that leads all the way up the Fawr to the Rhondda Tunnel so the infrastructure is there to make the most of this would-be attraction. It is important that we provide a safe path for cyclists to travel up and down the Fawr; just like other valleys have.
“I would also like to see Barry Sidings developed as it has the potential to become a mecca for mountain biking for riders of all abilities and age. This is in contrast to some of the other mountain bike destinations in Wales which only really cater for people of advanced ability and can be expensive to use.”
Leanne added: “We have all the ingredients to make the Rhondda a world class destination for all kinds of cyclists whether they prefer road or mountain trail. We have an abundance of steep terrain and hills, forestry and natural beauty.
“It is time to make the most of what we have and get more people cycling as the benefit of this are well documented when it comes to health and the economy.
“I hope the various groups in the local area can now come together and make this happen. Watch this space.”
If you share Leanne’s vision for cycling in the Rhondda, why not contact her to pledge your support? Her email address is Leanne.firstname.lastname@example.org