The first phase of a scheme to link two Pembrokeshire towns with an ‘active travel route’ has opened.
The planned 17-kilometre route between Narberth and Haverfordwest will incorporate traffic-free sections and quiet roads and will follow existing highways, tracks, bridleways and public footpaths.
Wherever possible it will be multi-user - that is accessible to walkers, cyclists, the mobility-impaired and equestrians.
The first of the Pembrokeshire County Council three-phase project was opened recently by the Authority’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Infrastructure, Phil Baker.
A section between Eagle Lodge and Blackpool Mill was completed with Welsh Government funding.
Work on phase two between Eagle Lodge and Narberth via Canaston Wood and Carding Mill Lane is scheduled to start later this year.
Said Councillor Baker: “Both Narberth and Haverfordwest are designated active travel settlements and the scheme will not only provide an important link between numerous communities but also provides opportunities for staff to access a number of employment sites by sustainable means.
“We have enjoyed working with our partners and look forward to completing the remainder of the project with them.”
Sustrans – the charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle - identified the link between the towns for inclusion in the National Cycling Network (NCN). It has been supporting the County Council to develop the route by conducting studies and providing engineering and ecology expertise.
Elena Bianchi, network development manager at Sustrans Cymru said: “We are very happy to celebrate the opening of this section of the path. It shows how collaboration and engagement are key to making sure we create high quality traffic-free infrastructure suitable for all users.
“We consider this opening as a major achievement in the context of our Paths for Everyone Programme which aims at making the National Cycle Network safer and more accessible for everyone.
“During this process, we have learnt a lot and we will be happy to make this learning available for the future phases of the project and for other similar projects around the UK.”
· For information on local cycle routes go to Cycle Pembrokeshire on the County Council’s website: www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/cycle-pembrokeshire
County Councillor Phil Baker cuts a ribbon to open the first phase of the new route. He was joined by members of the Project Steering Group and a variety of users.