Monmouthshire County Council Must Use Compulsory Purchase to Complete National Cycle Route 46
National Cycle Route 46 runs along an old railway line from Abergavenny to Brynmawr. It’s the most popular traffic free cycling route in the area and offers a safe, pleasant route up the Usk valley, passing through the villages of Llanfoist, Govilon and Clydach. From Brynmawr a new traffic-free route continues to Blaenavon and its wealth of industrial heritage.
Route 46 is considered as among the most beautiful cycle routes in Britain, passing through the beautiful Clydach Gorge with breathtaking views into to the Black Mountains.
Unfortunately there’s a short, 700 yard gap in the route, on the section between Gilwern and Clydach. Cyclists and walkers are forced onto an arduous, mile-long diversion down a steep lane and all the way back up again. The reason? A landowner has consistently refused to allow the route across his land or to lease or sell it to the local authority.
The missing link increases journey times and – because of the steepness of the narrow lanes, which are not traffic-free – is discouraging to many potential users, particularly children, older people, cyclists with disabilities and inexperienced cyclists.
Negotiation with the landowner has failed. We call on Monmouthshire County Council to begin the process of compulsory purchase of this tiny strip of land. This is the only way that a crucial piece of cycling and walking infrastructure can be completed, for the wider benefit of residents, visitors and the local economy.