The second phase of work to establish the Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route is underway – with phase one, a new shared path between the old colliery site and the gateway memorial in Maerdy, due for completion before Christmas.
The overall project will create a 7km shared pedestrian and cycle route between Maerdy and Tylorstown, with its delivery split into five main phases of work. The Council has currently secured Welsh Government funding to construct the first two phases, and to progress the design and development of the remaining three phases which will be constructed in the future.
This investment was announced in June 2023 as part of Welsh Government’s Active Travel Fund (2023/24). The Rhondda Fach scheme will create a 3-metre wide, surfaced cycle route that conforms to active travel standards – while establishing new community links at specific points along the route.
Phase One nearing completion and Phase Two underway
Work on Phase One started in July 2023 and will be completed by Friday, December 22.It has created the route’s northernmost section by upgrading an existing path – from a location north of the industrial estate near the former colliery site, to a point near the Mardy Colliery Gateway Memorial. Advanced structural work to two bridges was also completed during early November.
Phase Two will focus on the next section of the route – from the Gateway Memorial, heading south for approximately 1.5km. The work will create a new shared footpath which largely travels along the alignment of the former railway line, located on the opposite side of the Rhondda Fach River to the Phase One works. Phase Two got underway recently, in early December 2023.
Horan Construction Ltd is appointed to deliver Phase Two, which is due for completion in early Spring 2024. Minimal disruption is expected due to the works location on the disused railway line. A site compound (welfare unit and site offices) will be located at Park Place, on land opposite the tennis courts.
Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Investment, said: “Creating new walking and cycling opportunities in our local communities continues to be a Council priority – through delivering local schemes such as the ongoing works in Maerdy. Active travel brings numerous benefits for communities, as walking and cycling can improve residents’ health and well-being, and help protect the environment as an everyday alternative to driving local journeys.
“We welcomed the significant £3.43m allocation from this year’s Active Travel Fund in June, with this Welsh Government funding covering construction of the first two phases of the Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route, and design and development of the final three phases. It also included developing several other key schemes – including realigning the Taff Trail at Trallwn, establishing a formal Active Travel route at Cwmbach, improving various links in Church Village, and progressing schemes in Aberdare and Pontypridd Town Centres.
“Good progress has been made over the past few months to progress Phase One of the Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route, by formalising an existing footpath north of the Gateway Memorial in Maerdy. It has created an improved path that makes the route accessible for all pedestrians and cyclists. These works are entering their final stages, and will be completed before Christmas.
“Phase Two has also now started, and will continue the route in a southern direction from a point near the memorial. This section will follow the alignment of the disused railway line, and will be around 1.5k long. Minimal disruption is expected for these works, and the Council will work closely with its contractor to ensure this next section of the route is established in the months ahead.”