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Afon Clwyd - the cycleway that isn't

When is a Cycleway not a Cycleway? Answer - when cycling along it feels like the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree in Liverpool

Denbighshire County Council has erected heavy chicane gates every two or three hundred yards along the riverside 'cycleway' between Rhyl and Rhuddlan (Lon Afon Clwyd). Each of these requires riders dismount to negotiate the double sided chicanes.  Wheelchair users are effectively excluded altogether, unless accompanied by someone on foot to slip the latches and hold the gates open,

CTC Cymru has already praised Denbighshire for establishing this truly exceptional route - until the gates appeared. We are told these monstrosities are to assist animal husbandry - there are cattle and sheep in the adjacent fields. But these fields are themselves fenced, and the movement of animals must surely be a far from a regular event.

The goodwill of several farmers has been a feature of the planning of this route. For this they deserve recognition. But in seeking support from the farmers (all it needed was one to object, and the scheme could have been placed in jeopardy) has the county had to agree to the installation of gates that are clearly a major hindrance to public access, and an insensitive intrusion into this most attractive riverside location?

Both CTC Cymru and Sustrans Cymru have asked Denbighshire to conduct an urgent review of the position. A sensible solution would be to retain gates only at the ends of the route - and these to be user-friendly.

CTC & Sustrans have made representation to the county - we await developments.

Photo of cyclist struggling to get his bike through a very tight kissing gate

A most unfriendly gate for cyclists at Marsh Road, at the start of the path in Rhyl

 

Photo of two pedestrians going through a gate that has 4 animal warning signs
Surely deserves an award for insulting the intelligence of the public? Do people really need to be instructed on the difference between a sheep and a cow? We reckon this deserves an award for signposting gone mad - and so intrusive and ugly!

 

Photo of a lady in an electric buggy about to pass through a gate with the assistance of a companion

The numerous gates exclude wheelchair users from the path unless they have assistance

 

Photo of a cyclist using a path alongside a main A road
Ray Price cycles to work from Rhyl to St Asaph each day. He loves the trip. But for the gates he would use the riverside route; however he prefers taking the longer and noisier way past Sainsbury's Supermarket. He doesn't want the hassle of the gates.

 

Photo of 8 cyclists, half of them young children, and one with a trailer with very young child

A group of frustrated young neighbours arriving at Rhuddlan from Rhyl.

As first-timers on the Afon Clwyd Cycleway they found negotiating the chicane gates very difficult indeed - particularly so with two cycle trailers. Like many other cycleway users they cannot understand the logic behind the gates.

 

photo of dismounted cyclist manoeuvring through chicane gates

Navigating each gate involves dismounting and fiddling with an awkward latch and a bolt - there are least half a dozen gates.

 

 

 

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