Abergavenny and Crickhowell are in many ways interdependent towns but connected by a busy and quite narrow trunk road, the A40, which cannot be recommended to cyclists. Much of the road has a footpath on its southern side but this is also narrow and, in the Monmouthshire section, often subsiding.
At present there is no designated cycle route connecting Abergavenny, Crickhowell and Brecon. Sections of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal towpath are suitable, though can be muddy after heavy rain, and it is hoped to encourage cycling along its full length in the future. Welcome as this would be, a route on the south side of the River Usk is indirect and therefore inconvenient for travel between the towns.
In 2003 the Cycle Group proposed an A40 route between Abergavenny and Glangrwyney on the county border. The A40 footway between Glangrwyney and Crickhowell already appears acceptable for cycling, though it could certainly be improved, and would need to be if levels of cycling increased in the area. Our proposal on the Monmouthshire side relied on the use of minor roads, widening of footways, and off-road sections of various difficulty with some requiring landowner cooperation. While we were unable to provide costings for the works, this much safer route was shown to be feasible if – in some places – less than the ideal width of a cycle track.
Unfortunately little official interest was shown at the time. But the need for a safe cycle route between Abergavenny and Crickhowell has not diminished. As well as benefiting local people, it would be enormous benefit to the Brecon Beacons National Park to have a safe and direct cycle route between Abergavenny with its railway connections to Crickhowell and Brecon, two important tourist gateways to the National Park.