A cycling and walking route linking Port Talbot to Cwmafan and Afan Forest Park

A new route has given residents a safe way to explore Port Talbot and the surrounding valley
The challenge

The existing arterial roads between Port Talbot, Cwmafan and Pontrhydyfen are fast, narrow, busy and heavily trafficked, and not suitable for walking and cycling. Some existing cycleways had fallen into disrepair and needed upgrading. Some bridges across the River Avan were unsuitable for cycling and created barriers for people who wanted to travel in a sustainable way.

The solution

The footpath has opened up our Valley for older people who could not previously access the area. Previously the foot path was muddy and unusable at times of the year, now we can walk safely down to the main town or up to Afan Forest Park. Mums with pushchairs can safely walk/ cycle ride with their children from the village to various areas and wheelchair users also have access where previously they did not. It is bringing tourism to an area, opening out a stunning valley that would not be so accessible. A brilliant concept!

- Wendy Cross

The scheme aimed to create safe, attractive footpaths and cycle routes between the towns of Port Talbot, Cwmafan, Pontrhydyfen, connecting local people to shops, schools and workplaces. The route was then designed to continue onto Afan Forest Park, giving local people better access to this popular greenspace. The 6.5km cycleway was built on the paths of former railway lines and upgrades to 5km of exiting cycleway were carried out. A bridge was replaced to make a continuous route.

The difference

The route enables the people of Port Talbot to journey and explore the beautiful countryside of Afan forest and its mountain bike centre in a way which is beneficial to their health and the environment. It has provided residents with a safer route and has encouraged them to leave their cars at home and walk to work, school and to the shops. 68% of people felt the route helped them increase their levels of activity by a large amount and 85% of people using the route make this journey at least 2 times per week.

Want to find out more?

Find out how we’re transforming local travel in communities UK-wide, and making it easier for millions of people to walk and cycle for their everyday journeys. Call Sustrans, Cardiff office on 029 2065 0602 or email: [email protected]