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If ever there was a case of an ugly duckling turning into a graceful swan, the on-going reclamation work on the banks of the River Clwyd at Rhyl in Denbighshire is just such a transformation.

On the former municipal rubbish tip, a system of pathways for walking and cycling has been laid. In the months and years to come, a nature reserve to challenge the very best will emerge. Already we can gasp with wonder at this location with its magnificent southerly aspect towards Rhuddlan Castle against the backdrop of the Clwydian hills - themselves designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty.

But for the visionary, there is also the obsolete rail bridge spanning the Clwyd between Kinmel Bay and Rhyl. We understand it is available for conversion for walking, cycling and wheels chairs - and the rail company is prepared to release the bridge for that purpose. And Denbighshire for its part would merely need to lay a path to its own riverbank, and come to an agreement over maintenance - a smidgen compared with the cost of keeping our roads running

But what of the neighbouring Conwy? To the writer's own knowledge approaches have been made, but landed on deaf ears.

Come on Conwy ! What's all this you say about integrated transport and getting people out of their cars to stop them getting fat and becoming a burden on the tax system A 'green transport' crossing of the river would be a real winner in so many ways. Not just for tourists, but for its own residents wishing to forsake their cars to get to work, visit friends, or do a bit of shopping in Rhyl - it's amazing how much you can pack into bike panniers - or a trailer if it comes to that!

And there's another exciting prospect to come. The completion of the riverside path to Rhuddlan. This is expected to be commenced in the not too distant future and would link with the off-road cycle path along A525 to St Asaph. Now that would be a real winner. But more of that later

Is this a bridge too far for local authority sustainable transport planning?

A bridge too far for local authority sustainable transport planning?


The magnificent southerly aspect

The magnificent southerly aspect.