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£200,000 boost for "Active Travel" in town

Created on 13/08/2017 @ 10:19
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Just weeks after it emerged funding for a project to bring an improved cycling and pedestrian travel network to Newtown, the Welsh Government has now agreed to invest £200,000 into the scheme.

Powys County Council had bid for the money as part of the Active Travel Network, but funding for Newtown had not originally been included.

Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George, took the matter up with the First Minister in Plenary at the Welsh Assembly.

It has emerged that £200,000 has now been earmarked for the Newtown Active Travel Network.

The ambition to now develop an Active Travel network for pedestrians and cyclists in Newtown will proceed.

IThe Active Travel Act came into law in Wales in 2014 and places a legal duty on all local authorities in Wales to consult with local communities and develop a safe network for walking and cycling.
The Powys County Council proposals aim to develop an Active Travel Network which would see improved accessibility to services within Newtown through an improved public transport infrastructure.
Among Powys County Council's main aspirations are a shared use pedestrian and cycle route along Llanidloes Road to Dolfor Junction; a link path from Treowen housing estate to the train station; and improvements in pedestrian and cycle links between the railway station, town centre and the bus station.
A further long term aspiration for Powys County Council will be the construction of a cycle and pedestrian bridge across the river Severn which presents one of the main barriers to walking and cycling in Newtown.
Mr George said: "While the Welsh Government's funding will not enable all of Powys County Council's aspirations to become a reality and additional funding will have to be sought, it is a welcome boost towards transforming the accessibility of Newtown.
"This funding will now allow Powys County Council to make a start on putting active travel such as walking and cycling at the heart of planning decisions for residents and visitors to Newtown, allowing it to take advantage of the opportunities which the new bypass will ultimately provide to regenerate the town."
Newtown North County Councillor, Councillor Daniel Rowlands added: "I’m delighted that initial funding has now been provided by the Welsh Government after the First Minister was pressed by our AM, Russell George, to provide in-year funding to support Newtown’s Active Travel bid. 
"While further funding will be required to achieve all of Powys County Council's aspirations, this could be the start of something transformational for Newtown and I will also look to support the project in any way I can.”


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