PONTYBEREM and Bancffosfelen County Councillor Liam Bowen has started a local campaign to re-purpose the abandoned Gwendraeth Valley Railway line as a cycling track for local residents and tourists alike.
The ‘Gwendraeth Valley Cycle Track’ campaign has already captured the imagination of local residents with over 800 signing an online petition within the first 24 hours.
The petition calls on Carmarthenshire County Council, The Welsh Government, The Gwendraeth Valley Railways Society and Network Rail to work together to undertake a feasibility study and support the creation of a Gwendraeth Valley Cycle Track.
The Plaid Cymru County Councillor said:
“Born and bred in Pontyberem, I’m fully aware of how difficult it can be for amateur and occasional cyclists as well as families and children to join existing cycle tracks. Unless you can drive to Llannon Road or villages such as Tumble, joining the cycle track would involve cycling on dangerous roads where visibility is low and cars are fast.
“When elected as County Councillor, I pledged to work with others to try and gain financial support to re-open the Gwendraeth Valley Railway Line as a cycle track, connecting Pontyberem with the rest of the Gwendraeth Valley and local towns.
“Carmarthenshire County Council aims to become ‘The Cycling Hub of Wales’ and have done great work across the county on developing cycle tracks and the velodrome in Carmarthen. This track would go a long way to achieving this dream.
“The health and environmental benefits are obvious as well as the economic benefits to local businesses. This is our opportunity to show the beauty of the Gwendraeth Valley to locals and tourists alike.
“I have held short, preliminary discussions with Carmarthenshire County Council, the Gwendraeth Valley Railway Society and our Assembly Member, Lee Waters. All of which were very positive, with all parties wishing to see investment in this area.
“We await on an announcement on the Active Travel Funding for this financial year before we can kick-start the project with a feasibility study. I look forward to working with all stakeholders and local residents to make this dream a reality.”