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Another community would have secured travel funding

Created on 08/08/2018 @ 18:20
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Community leaders say the £550,000 secured for Newtown Active Travel Plan would have gone to another town if they had not won it.

The Welsh Government money, secured by Powys County Council, will be used to build a new cycle and pedestrian bridge over the River Severn between Canal Road and Newtown.

Some had commented on the MyNewtown Facebook page that the cash should have been used on roads or other priorities in the town.

But Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George and local county councillor David Selby have pointed out separately that the money would not have been available for any other project than the active travel plan.

The Welsh Government confirmed that Powys' bid had been successful and has been included in the first share of the £60 million to support active travel schemes across Wales.

As part of the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan Mid-Point Review 2018, more than £10 million has been earmarked for individual projects across Wales during this financial year.

The government says the Active Travel funding is designed to boost walking and cycling infrastructure, improve safety, support the economy, reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and build physical activity into people's daily lives to deliver wider health benefits.

Under the plans, over £550,000 will be invested in Newtown, including a new active travel bridge over the River Severn.

Mr George said: “Whilst it has to be acknowledged that potholes and poorly maintained roads which are in a desperate state of disrepair and require attention, this pot of money was specifically for active travel schemes so it is positive news that Powys' bid for Welsh Government funding has been successful following a competition between local authorities.

"The new funding will mean that there will be a new "Active Travel" crossing over the River Severn in Newtown designed to encourage more people to walk and cycle and there will also be long overdue improvements to the infrastructure in other parts of the town. 

"I’m pleased that Newtown has been successful in attracting this investment which would have otherwise gone elsewhere."Also welcoming the news, Cllr Daniel Rowlands, county councillor for Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn North added:

"I would like to congratulate Powys County Council on securing almost £1 million investment. "I know that my colleague Cllr Phyl Davies, Powys County Council's Portfolio Holder for Highways, Recycling and Assets, and his team of officers, put in a great deal of effort in submitting the best possible bid to secure this funding and this hard work has now been rewarded.

"The Project will significantly improve Newtown's Active Travel infrastructure encouraging residents to walk or cycle in the town."

Photo: Russell George AM and Cllr Daniel Rowlands at the point where the new bridge will be built at Canal Road

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