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Minister peddles cycle route

 Extract from Denbighshire Free Press Report, February 2006

Clwyd West AM and Minister for Sport Alun Pugh has called on Denbighshire County Council to revive plans for a cycle way between St Asaph and Ruthin.

Mr Pugh made his plea at a meeting of the National Assembly North Wales Regional Committee on Friday, following on from the tragedy near Abergele last month which claimed the lives of Rhyl Cycling Club members Wayne Wilkes, David Horrocks, Maurice Broadbent and 14-year-old Thomas Harland.

The Clwyd West AM, a keen cyclist himself, joined hundreds of mourners a week after the incident for a tribute ride through the Vale of Clwyd.

Speaking to the Free Press after the meeting Mr Pugh said it was “disappointing” that Denbighshire County Council had not carried out its plans for Lon Clwyd after the proposals ran into opposition.

But the Assembly Member revealed he had approached the authority in an effort to revive the plans to provide a safe pedestrian and cycle route from St Asaph to Ruthin.

“Cycling on the main A525 is unpleasant and feels dangerous and the B5281 is little better. Having a safe, traffic-free route through the Vale would be a great tourist attraction and a boost for local residents,” Mr Pugh said.

“Where councils have provided strategic cycle ways, they have been enormously popular. I have written formally to Denbighshire council to ask for this to be put back on the agenda.”

British Cycling national coach, and former British International Road Race Champion, Doug Dailey of Pwllglas, has also called for the council to complete the region’s network of cycle paths to give young old and recreational cyclists a safe environment to use.

Mr Dailey urged the authority to “get their fingers out” and get the routes open to help cyclists ride in safety.

Denbighshire Free Press

Editorial comment.

Lon Clwyd should have received overwhelming support from the public, but some county councillors admitted at the time they were coming under so much pressure from opponents they felt bound to vote against the proposal, even though they realised this eighteen mile route from Rhyl to Ruthin would benefit Denbighshire in so many ways. If this had been completed it would have been the launch pad for a route running to Dolgellau via Corwen and Bala. What an opportunity missed - or should we say delayed?

The public really does need to realise that if they want to be able to ride a bike in safety, and sometimes away from traffic, it needs to lobby its elected representatives vigorously. CTC Cymru have led many local campaigns, but without your support and help they can only do so much.