Have your say on proposed walking and cycling route for Ferndale

Written by on 21st February 2024

Residents can now view draft proposals for Phase Four of the Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route, as part of a public consultation exercise. The shared path for pedestrians and cyclists could run along the old railway line in Ferndale. 

The overall Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route will create a 10km shared pedestrian and cycle path between Maerdy and Tylorstown, to be delivered across five main phases of work. Welsh Government funding has been secured by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to construct the first two phases – and also to design and develop the remaining three phases for their construction in the future.

Phase One was recently completed in December 2023, creating a formal 3-metre wide, surfaced route from a location north of the industrial estate near the former colliery site in Maerdy, to a point near the Gateway Memorial. Phase Two started in December 2023, to resume the route in a southernly direction from the Gateway Memorial through Maerdy. This 1.5km section will travel along the old railway line alignment – due for completion in spring 2024.

RCT Council recently consulted the community on plans for Phase Three in Maerdy, via an engagement exercise that ended on February 19. This section of the route is proposed to be 1.26km in length, connecting Phase Two (at a location near Station Street) to Blake Street and the rear of Richard Street.

Phase Four consultation is now underway

It is proposed that Phase Four will run along the old railway line, adjacent to the River Rhondda Fach, through Ferndale. Its northernmost point would meet Phase Two (at the Maerdy boundary), and it would continue south for 2.65km until reaching the footbridge leading to Rhondda Fach Leisure Centre. A new link to Avon Street would also be created at a central location along this route.

A consultation webpage has been set up on the Council website, so residents can access detailed information relating to Phase Four – including location plans, draft designs, a drainage strategy, a proposed footbridge replacement, and supplementary technical reports. The consultation process will remain open until Thursday, March 7.

Find out more and take part here

The public can have their say on any aspect of the proposals by emailing ActiveTravelConsultation@rctcbc.gov.uk or by writing to the Council at the Freepost address which is included on the consultation homepage.

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

“The public can now access detailed proposals for Phase Four of the Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route, and are encouraged to take part to help officers shape the plans. It is proposed that Phase Four will create a shared path through Ferndale using the disused railway line, linking up with Phase Two at Maerdy.

“The entire planned route is around 10km in length, to create a formal cycle and pedestrian path between Maerdy and Tylorstown. On site, Phase One at the northern end of Maerdy was completed before Christmas, while Phase Two, across the length of Maerdy, is now progressing towards completion in spring. The funding we have secured from Welsh Government’s Active Travel Fund will also enable us to develop the final three phases – and as part of this work, a public consultation on Phase Three has recently been completed.

“Identifying and creating new active travel routes in communities is important to encourage more people to walk or cycle more of their daily journeys, as an everyday alternative to driving. This has many important advantages, from improving people’s health and well-being to reducing the number of vehicles on our roads, reducing traffic congestion, and protecting the environment.

“The £3.43m secured from this year’s Active Travel Fund will also help the Council develop other key schemes. These include realigning the Taff Trail at Trallwn, establishing a formal active travel route at Cwmbach, progressing targeted works in Aberdare and Pontypridd town centres and improving local links in Church Village.

“The consultation for the Rhondda Fach Active Travel Phase Four proposals will remain open until March 7, and I’d urge all interested residents to take part. All of the feedback received will be read by officers, and considered when developing the scheme’s final design. The dedicated webpage on the Council’s website contains detailed information, maps and drawings, and also includes information about how residents can get in touch via email or post.”

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