Linking Up Wales

The National Cycle Network in Wales offers many opportunities for travel, discovery and play.

Improving connections between rural communities and the National Cycle Network is vital to local economic development, health and wellbeing.


About the project

The Linking Up project aims to improve the links between the existing National Cycle Network and eight rural communities across Wales.

These new links will provide opportunities for local people to access jobs, services and tourist destinations using active transport.

Building on our technical expertise in delivering similar schemes around the UK, the work has benefited from a high degree of stakeholder engagement, which has been facilitated by the BRO Partnership.

Collaboration has been crucial to embedding the local community’s views and needs ensuring we deliver paths that will be used by all. 

We've worked with local authorities, community groups, interested parties, policymakers and statutory bodies to develop “shovel ready” plans that can be put forward for further funding aimed at the construction of the paths.

This project contributes to deliver our vision of Wales as a healthy, clean and prosperous place where people can choose to travel safely and conveniently by foot or bike.

During this journey, we have learnt many lessons and gathered a lot of knowledge. 

This page tells the story of how each scheme developed and shares what we have learnt so that our journey can help future projects.


We're working with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council (BGCBC), Brynmawr Town Council, Beaufort Hills Ponds and Woodlands and Duke of Beaufort’s Breconshire Estate Commoner’s Association to develop a new traffic-free path between Garnlydan and Brynmawr.

This work will help complete Route 46, which will run from Neath, across the Heads of the Valleys and then, via Abergavenny and Hereford, to Birmingham.

Download more information:

Watch our video about this project.

Conwy estuary link

We're working with Conwy County Borough Council (CCBC) and Llandudno Coastal Forum (LCF) to improve Route 5 around Conwy Cob and the link with Llandudno.

The current walking and cycling path between Deganwy and Llandudno West shore is unusable for most parts of the year because of the windblown sand. The existing section between Deganwy and Conwy and/or Llandudno Junction is well below current design standards and needs to be upgraded.

The feasibility study that we are producing is linked to the opportunities generated by the Beach Management Plan and strategy for Llandudno North and West shores, which aims at providing appropriate flood and coastal erosion risk management and improving the natural environment, cultural heritage, recreational space and aesthetics of the area.

Download more information:

Watch our video about this project.

Robin sat on autumn tree branches

Flint to Connah's Quay

We are working with Flintshire County Council to conduct a feasibility study to improve the link between Flint and Connah’s Quay on National Cycle Network Route 5. The existing path runs on road and is not suitable for safe walking and cycling.

Once completed, this path will allow greener and safer commuting along the Dee Estuary as well as increased access for leisure walking and cycling.

Within this work, we are also focusing on improving the link between Flint town and Flint foreshore and Castle. Working with Cadw and Flintshire County Council, we have been looking at improving provisions for walking and cycling in town and signage between the town centre and the Castle. These measures will contribute to improve the sense of place of the town centre and will have a positive impact on economic viability in Flint.

Download more information:

Watch our video about this project. 

Cyclist on traffic-free path in Wales

Garw Valley Link

We are working with the local community and the Garw Valley Railway to improve the management of the Community Path and to provide a safe and traffic free link with National Cycle Network Route 4.

Linking this valley with the main network, will open up huge opportunities for residents to travel actively and for visitors to discover the Garw Valley, a hidden gem in South Wales.

Download more information: 

Watch our video about this project.

people walking and on bikes using traffic-free path lined with trees

Narberth to Haverfordwest

We are working with Pembrokeshire County Council to produce a feasibility study for a new multi-user path.

The path will connect Narberth to Haverfprdwest and the existing National Cycle Network Route 4, using traffic-free routes and quiet roads.

The route will also link to Canaston Bridge and to the existing 381 bus service.

Download more information: 

Watch our video about this project.

A man cycles past a puddle on a traffic-free path


We are working with the Pontarddulais vibrant community, Friends of Coed Bach Park and Swansea City and County Council to develop the link to the existing traffic free path, currently finishing in Grovesend.

The project is linked to the wider plan to connect Pontarddulais with Gowerton and therefore with route 4 of the National Cycle Network.

We are also looking at creating safer and more attractive streets in Pontarddulais, which will allow residents to enjoy public space better.

Download more information: 

Watch our video about this project.

Flowers on railway path

Usk to Pontypool

In Usk we are supporting UTAG – Usk Trail Acces Group in their work to develop a traffic free path between Usk and Pontypool.

The proposed path lies between Usk and Pontypool and will connect Routes 42 and 43 of the National Cycle Network with route 49 near Pontypool on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.

The proposed route will be accessible for all users because it is away from traffic and has very few gradients, mostly following the dismantled railway line.

Download more information: 

Watch our video about this project.

The toolkit

As part of the Linking Up project, we worked with communities across rural Wales to help them plug gaps identified in their walking and cycling networks.

These areas were:

  • The West shore of Llandudno linking to Deganwy and National Cycle Network Route 5
  • Flint town
  • Flint to Connah’s Quay link along National Route 5
  • Brynmawr to Garnlydan missing link
  • Usk to Pontypool link
  • Garw Valley link to National Route 4
  • Pontarddulais link to Grovesend
  • Narberth to Haverfordwest link.

Their experiences are used as case studies within this toolkit to show how the principles we have identified work in practice and we thank them all for their input and their enthusiastic participation in the project.

In this toolkit, we aim to help you on your journey.

We also provide a handy glossary to help you understand some of the jargon involved in the process.


Section 1

Sets out how to go about influencing the development and improvement of paths in your area.

It guides you through setting up a stakeholder group to carrying out feasibility studies.

Download section one of the toolkit. 

Section 2

Sets out how you as an individual business or as a community can attract more walkers and cyclists to your area.

And it shows how you can start reaping some of the economic benefits this could bring.

Download section two of the toolkit.

Section 3

Sets out the benefits of walking and cycling.

It provides you with some facts and figures to help you justify the development of new paths and the improvement and promotion of existing ones.

Download section three of the toolkit.


 For more information about the Linking Up project please email us at