CONWY ESTUARY CYCLE ROUTE
Update, 24th June 2005: we first published this article in spring, 2004. Unfortunately there were delays in starting the project but construction began on the the section between Conwy Cob and Deganwy (Marine Crescent) in February 2005.
By April 2005 an access road to enable heavy plant to reach the Glan-y-Mor Road beach had been built by the side of the railway line. A lot of people seem to believe mistakenly that this access road will be the route of the cycleway itself. In fact the cycleway will be routed along the edge of the estuary and the A55 embankment.
Unfortunately the need for a structural monitoring agreement has led to a protracted delay while negotiations took place. We are informed that these are more or less finished and it is hoped that the contractors will be back on site in early July and that the Conwy Cob to Deganwy section will be completed by around September 2005.
The Cob to Glan Conwy and the Deganwy to Llandudno West Shore sections have gone seriously over-budget. Conwy is now reasonably confident that it has been promised sufficient new funding to cover this shortfall.
In a switch of priorities Conwy now hopes to start the Deganwy to West Shore section in September 2005 instead of summer 2006 and, subject to cabinet approval, start on the Glan Conwy section in late summer 2006. Because of problems with the terrain, the Glan Conwy section is now planned to finish at the viewing point lay-by just before the village instead of at the existing underpass near the station. This will require the building of a bridge over the railway. A short stretch of cycleway would be built by the side of the A470 to link the lay-by with the village.
After holding our breath for what has felt like an eternity, the brilliant news has been released by the Wales European Funding Office that approval has now been given for the strategic cycle route from Llandudno's West Shore to Glan Conwy, with an upgrading of the stretch of the National Cycle Route from Llandudno Junction to Conwy.
The project is being funded with almost £3m from the Welsh Assembly, £2.6m EU Objective One monies, £330k from Wales Tourist Board, £350k from Conwy CBC, and £109k from the private sector.
Together with the substantial refurbishment of Conwy's Quayside, Council Leader Ronnie Hughes said the green light for both projects was 'fantastic news' for the local settlements, and another major step forward in the regeneration of the area. 'In the case of the cycle route it shows that Objective One really is starting to deliver results'
In the months before this success there were fears the whole scheme could falter. This was due to negative campaigning by a very short-sighted interest group at Deganwy. However a powerful 'no holds barred' counter attack by a couple of cycling pensioners and their friends representing CTC Cymru and Deganwy Residents' Association, probably tipped the balance and enabled the council to give wholehearted support in the knowledge that the public had been won over by the public debate.
CTC Cymru sent a warm message to Conwy CBC Our wholehearted congratulations to all the councillors and officers involved in this most worthy project. We know it's been very hard and frustrating work. Rest assured it will have a massive impact in so many positive ways.
Click here to see illustrated details of the route.
Click here to see official project overview summarising benefits.