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Plans approved for cycle path along Carmarthenshire’s Towy Valley

24 Jun 2023 3 minute read
School children at the launch of the first stretch of the Tywi Valley Path in 2019

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

Plans for the main section of a cycle path along Carmarthenshire’s Towy Valley have been approved, although the easternmost section to Llandeilo has been dropped.

A planning officer told members of the council’s planning committee that the short stretch between Ffairfach and Llandeilo was being omitted because of a proposed road bypass.

The Towy Valley Path has always been billed as linking Carmarthen with Llandeilo, but it will stop around a kilometre short. A Llandeilo bypass has been talked about for years and is being looked into by the Welsh Government, although no firm details have emerged as yet.

Parts of the Towy Valley Path’s western section, which starts at Abergwili on the outskirts of Carmarthen, have been built. The new planning approval is for a longer, 14km stretch between Whitemill and Ffairfach.

The planning officer said it would cross a number of farms but that all existing accesses would be retained. Disruption during construction, he said, would be kept to a minimum.

Flood risk

Councillors asked about flood risk, given that the section between Llanarthne and Ffairfach would flood four times a year, based on data going back 32 years.

Llanegwad councillor Mansel Charles said the path would boost the economy and that the plans looked wonderful, but that he knew very well the detrimental impact that flooding had, with “many, many acres underwater”. He also asked where path users would park.

The planning officer said signs on the path would automatically trigger to say it was closed when river levels reached a certain level, and that it would be inspected after flood events.

He added there were 30 parking spaces at the Abergwili end of the path, other spaces near the path at Dryslwyn Castle, close to Llanarthne, but no designated spaces were currently proposed at Ffairfach.

Cllr Terry Davies asked how the emergency services would get to an injured cyclist, and was told there were a number of access points along the route and that police and fire services had not highlighted any concerns.

Cllr Gareth Thomas said the project sounded exciting but that it was “the biggest thing that has come before us in regards to the environment”.
Trees would be lost, he said, and farms “split in half”, with badger setts potentially disturbed and their occupants potentially “causing more problems” when they moved on.

Biodiversity gain

The planning officer said the application, which prompted five objections, came with a significant amount of environmental reports and involved a “really thorough assessment”. He said the equivalent of one-and-a-half trees would be planted for every tree cut down and that, combined with various environmental improvements, there would be a net biodiversity gain.

The committee also heard that staggered barriers could be installed on the path if speeding cyclists were impacting on other users’ safety, and that bins would be provided at certain intersections.

Cllr Russell Sparks said the Towy Valley Path would be a safe and traffic-free way for families to cycle, and congratulated the authority for securing £16.7 million of UK Government funding for the project.

The planning committee voted in favour of the Whitemill to Ffairfach section, with only one of the 15 present abstaining.


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Frank
Frank
10 months ago

How about repairing the bloody roads first!!!! Get priorities right. How many more times has CCC got to be told…….. apart from a very small percentage CYCLISTS ARE NOT USING THE PATHS THEY HAVE NOW. For some weird reason they prefer to risk their lives amongst the traffic and annoy the hell out of the motorists.

Last edited 10 months ago by Frank
Annibendod
Annibendod
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank

On your bike mate!

Frank
Frank
10 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Whatever, but you know I’m telling the truth.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Told you: the tyranny of the cyclist…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Example of the stupidity of ‘use it or lose it’ money…

Annibendod
Annibendod
10 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

🤣

Frank
Frank
10 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Is that all you can say in your defence?

Annibendod
Annibendod
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Defend myself? Lolz! You offered the opinion my dear.
It is yours to defend. Lolz again!

Last edited 10 months ago by Annibendod
Frank
Frank
10 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Mmmm, oh matron!!!!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

Warning: this is a joke…

I’m not sure if this restaurant is on the Dyfi cycle path but the finest food outlet in the UK is in the news (Guardian).

“We do not serve vegetarians as there is not enough meat on them”…

Last edited 10 months ago by Mab Meirion
Annibendod
Annibendod
10 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

I’ve heard they’re very fond of gammon and chips.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Why show off what a sad humourless person you are…

Annibendod
Annibendod
10 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Speak for yourself! 🤣

CapM
CapM
10 months ago

Richard Youle – It’s Tywi not Towy

Dai
Dai
10 months ago

Nobody uses ‘Towy’ these days

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