Plans revealed to use disused railway line as new walking and cycling route
Saul Cooke-Black, local democracy reporter
Plans have been revealed to use a disused railway line as a new walking and cycling route between Portskewett and Caldicot.
Walking and cycling charity Sustrans, working with Monmouthshire council, has outlined plans to develop a shared use path connecting Caldicot town centre, Portskewett, the Castle and Country Park and other existing routes.
The former Ministry of Defence railway connected a military base north of Crick to the main line railway near Caldicot.
Following the closure of the Caerwent base as a US military facility, the site – which is now owned by Monmouthshire council – has been left untouched for almost 30 years.
The proposed route could eventually provide connections to the National Cycle Network (NCN) Route and the village of Crick, with additional sections due to be submitted in planning applications.
A design and access statement says a 1.2-kilometre route is proposed to be built within the existing track bed, with a width of four metres, except for a short section where this will be reduced due to land ownership constraints.
The path will connect the communities of Portskewett and Caldicot, and provide a route from the proposed Crick Road housing development into Caldicot town centre.
“The proposed shared use path will provide a safe and attractive active travel route between key destination points in Caldicot and Portskewett,” a design and access statement says.
“The existing site is neglected and subject to littering and anti-social behaviour.
“By developing the site and inviting access to the local community it can be ensured that the long term management of the site is secured.”
The site supports a range of wildlife, and the plans aim to ensure that biodiversity is maintained and enhanced, according to the statement.
A total of 47 trees would be lost under the scheme, with a planting scheme to replace these proposed.
Three ramped access points are also proposed on the route, providing connections to Caldicot Road and the Crick Road housing site.
The project aims to encourage “a modal shift from car journeys to walking and cycling”, with the scheme helping to provide “a viable alternative to car journeys for everyday travel in and around Caldicot”.
Monmouthshire council will assess the plans in the coming months.
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