An historic canal route in Swansea, already popular with walkers and cyclists, is set to be upgraded.
Swansea Council has secured funding to upgrade a 1.4km section of towpath along Swansea Canal.
The route between Clydach and Pontardawe is already part of the national cycle network (NCN 43) and sees many people using it to walk and travel by bicycle. Overgrown vegetation and an ageing surface under foot has prompted the council to seek further funding to make it more user-friendly.
A £250,000 investment via the Welsh Government Active Travel programme has now been secured and will result in a major upgrade to the route.
Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement and Infrastructure Management, said: “Our aim will be to widen the existing path along the canal and provide an improved surface for walkers and cyclists.
“We will be working with the Canal and River Trust to make this route a safer and an even more popular walking and cycling route. We also want to continue the improvements already completed by the neighbouring local authority along their section, link up with it and maximise the regional benefits.”
The latest funding features as part of a report to the Council’s Cabinet, recommending approval of the scheme along with further investment in walking and cycling infrastructure, totalling £696,000.
Part of the funding (£245,000) will also help create a new 1.4 km link between the communities of Clydach and Craig Cefn Parc.
Additional investment will be spent on the introduction of locally produced artwork along existing sections of the city’s network.
Cllr Thomas, added: “We’re extremely grateful for the support from the Welsh Government in enabling us to expand and improve our current walking and cycling infrastructure.
“We want more people to consider the options of walking and cycling to travel around Swansea and to use a car less often. Making sure we have good quality routes which link up communities and give people confidence to travel safely is key to achieving this.”
Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said: “We know that getting people out of cars for short journeys to cycle or walk is an ambitious agenda, but if we’re to meet our net zero carbon emission target by 2050 we need to take action now.
“Having the right infrastructure in place is key to encouraging more people to feel safe to walk and cycle and that’s why we’ve committed to investing significant funding in active travel this year.”