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Agenda Item No. 7

 

RURAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (RDP) – FOOTPATHS AND CYCLEWAYS

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007 – 2013 is part of a joint Welsh Government / European Union strategy to make our country a better place to live and work. The RDP programme will run until December 2013 and consists of the creation/improvement of the Public Right of Way network and the investment of cycle routes across the Rural Vale amongst other projects. This is through:

 

-          The Rural Footpath Grant and;

-          National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 88

 

 

The Rural Footpath Grant

 

The aim of this grant is to increase connectivity between villages and key locations throughout the rural vale with public rights of way; addressing issues associated with community fragility and access to the countryside. The grant is available to public, voluntary and community organisations for works carried out in the rural Vale (The wards of Barry, Penarth and Llandough are excluded from the ‘Rural’ area).

 

The grant is able to fund a total of £150,000 worth of works, with a maximum grant per project capped at £40,000, or up to 70% of the total eligible costs, whichever is the lesser. Applicants have to provide 30% match funding, either through their own funds or from another source, however there is the possibility of using ROWIP as match funding, where the Public Right of Way team support the project.

 

Update: The Rural Footpath Grant has funded substantial improvement works at Corntown and Cowbridge, totalling approximately £43,000 worth of works:

 

-          Footpath improvements in Corntown allow residents from Corntown, Llampha and Ewenny to get to St. Michael’s Priory church and then on to Bridgend.

-          Improvements to the footpath in Cowbridge that runs behind the viaduct on Aberthin Road and the Town Hall car park and is a footpath that is has been in need of improving for numerous years according to Cowbridge Comprehensive School, the Town Council and by the Cowbridge Footpath Forum.

 

A total of £107,000 worth of works can still be funded through the grant, which ends in December 2013.

 

 

National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 88

 

The aim of this project is to extend the National Cycle Network (NCN) 88 through the investment in cycle routes identified by Sustrans within the rural Vale of Glamorgan, that will develop links between villages and provide safe accessibility to services in neighbouring villages. It wil link together with NCN Route 4 at Margam Park, through the Vale of Glamorgan and to the start of NCN Route 8 in Cardiff Bay. Information boards will be located throughout the route to provide information on local businesses and attractions.

 

The total budget to implement this NCN route is £575,000 and is being match funded by the South East Wales Transport Alliance (SEWTA).

 

Update: A shared footway / cycleway is being constructed in Porthkerry on Porthkerry Road with the expected date of completion being the end of March 2012. Work is also underway on a signage strategy as large sections of the route in the western part of the Vale is on road, utilising quiet country lanes.