Funding secured for two more Safe Routes in Communities schemes

Written by on 15th June 2023

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has secured significant funding from Welsh Government’s Safe Routes in Communities grant for 2023/24 – enabling key schemes to improve pedestrian facilities in Hirwaun and Church Village to be progressed this year. 

Safe Routes schemes are a package of measures to improve accessibility and safety within communities, in particular near schools. The improvements aim to encourage people to walk and cycle for short journeys, providing a safer environment to do so. Each year, Local Authorities are invited to bid for funding from Welsh Government to help deliver targeted community schemes.

On Thursday, June 15, Welsh Government announced funding for 2023/24, and has awarded £742,350 to Rhondda Cynon Taf for the following schemes:

  • Hirwaun Safe Routes in Communities scheme (£352,350) – the first year of this scheme will deliver speed reduction measures, improved pedestrian facilities (including dropped kerbs) and construction of new footways. It includes the ‘WOW’ initiative to encourage children and parents to walk to school. As part of this year’s work, the Council will also undertake a feasibility study for the introduction of new controlled pedestrian crossings throughout the village – which could be delivered next year subject to funding.
  • Church Village Safe Routes in Communities scheme (£340,000) – this scheme will improve several key walking routes that people use to access local facilities, and upgrade pedestrian facilities at key junctions across the village. It will also introduce the ‘WOW’ initiative to encourage children and parents to walk to Llanilltud Faerdref Primary School.
  • School Street feasibility study (£50,000) – this work will identify further school sites across Rhondda Cynon Taf, which have the potential to participate in school streets initiatives in the future.

Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Investment, said:

“I’m pleased the Council has secured more than £740,000 to progress further Safe Routes in Communities schemes, to create safer walking and cycling environments in more of our local communities. We welcome Welsh Government’s continued support following last year’s funding allocation, which has enabled pedestrian improvements to be delivered across Llantwit Fardre in recent months.

“Similar schemes have been delivered in Llwynypia, Abercynon, Llantrisant, Cilfynydd and Ton Pentre in recent years, as we continue to encourage more people to walk and cycle as part of their daily routines – as an alternative to driving. This will help the environment, improve people’s health and well-being, reduce the amount of traffic on our roads and lower journey times.

“The 2023/24 funding will enable a scheme this year to improve key walking routes and upgrade pedestrian facilities in Church Village. The funding will also enable a first stage of investment in Hirwaun, to upgrade pedestrian facilities and improve footways – which could be followed by a second phase of work next year, subject to funding. Both schemes will focus on establishing safer pedestrian routes around schools, to encourage families to walk there each day. The funding will also enable a wider feasibility study to inform potential future improvements in other Rhondda Cynon Taf communities.

“Officers will now progress all three elements of the funding, and will update residents on the arrangements for the schemes in Hirwaun and Church Village. Work will begin to deliver these improvements later in the year.”

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