A pioneering new ‘glow in the dark’ path installed in Bridgend forms part of a network connecting homes, schools and local businesses.
The 300 metre path, which runs through the Woodlands playing fields to link up Brook Vale with Llwyn Gwern, has a photo-luminescent resin surface that harnesses UV light during the day so that it can emit a gentle light to help make the route visible in the dark. From Llwyn Gwern, the traffic-free route continues through to Pencoed Comprehensive School and Croesty Primary School, forming part of a wider scheme to improve active travel access in Pencoed which has been funded from the Welsh Government’s Safe Routes in Communities programme.
The initial idea for a path through the fields came from a young pupil at Croesty Primary School. Head teacher Martin Kaye said:
“Our pupils always enjoy the opportunity to travel on two wheels so are keen participants in the Active Journeys programme which is delivered in our school by Sustrans and Bridgend County Borough Council.”
The scheme has been developed by Bridgend County Borough Council in partnership with Sustrans, the schools and the local community access group, with support from Redrow and Halo Leisure. Hailing the new path as a shining example of how to encourage residents to choose more active forms of travel over cars.
Councillor Richard Young, the council’s Cabinet Member for Communities said:
“This is the first time we’ve installed such a surface in the county borough as an alternative to more traditional lighting so that the path can be used at night. It’s a really exciting innovation and we are sure that this route will be popular with pupils and parents, providing a realistic option for cars to be left at home for the daily school run.”
Councillor Young added:
“We are grateful to the Welsh Government for their continuing financial support for this project through the Safe Routes in Communities programme which, following successful funding applications made by the council, has seen an investment totalling more than £1.5m in Pencoed over the past three years.”
Roger Dutton, from Sustrans, said:
“Working with children and staff at Croesty Primary on the Active Journeys Programme, it’s clear that there’s a real enthusiasm throughout the school community to travel actively. We worked with the pupils to identify barriers and think of solutions that would allow more families to scoot and cycle, ensuring that the pupils were central to the process, which proved to be a rewarding learning experience for everyone. “Active travel has many benefits for the whole school community, and so it’s important that young people have the opportunity to access safe and convenient routes wherever practical. This new path is an innovative way to encourage families to walk, scoot and cycle the school run, and to keep doing so during the darker winter months too.
“Bridgend County Borough Council should be commended for trying something new and we hope to see more innovation like this in the coming years.”