Ceredigion cyclists attacked by Libdems

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Celtic King, Apr 27, 2003.

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  1. Celtic King

    Celtic King Guest

    Know this...if you live in Ceredigion and enjoy cycling the Libdems candidate landowner John
    Davies(who expects you to vote for him in next weeks Assembly elections!) has done his damnedest to
    prevent the cycle route on the old southbound railway track coming to fruition. In fact he has
    almost singlehandedly forced a costly public enquiryy on the grounds that it passes his property and
    will lower the value (in his opinion!) of his house. Of late of course in the run up to election
    this has been kept very quiet.However, this route is very important and may form part of a much
    bigger route across mid Wales if he doesn't manage to derail the whole process.Remember this when
    you make your vote on Thursday! For oyur information I reprint two articles out of the Cambrian
    news...one about the matter and the second a letter of protest on John davies's views from the local
    owner of Llywernog Silver Mine...a tourist attraction. Read the quotes below and remember if you
    live in Ceredigion and have a vote..John Davies might well regard YOU as one of the burglers on
    bikes who will destroy his landed security!!:-

    PART OF a railway axed 40 years ago is being reopened - as a cycle-path. The two-mile track between
    Rhydyfelin and Aberystwyth will increase road-safety and provide a scenic short-cut for villagers,
    county councillors were told. But some villagers fear the new route could attract burglars on
    push-bikes and unruly dogs bent on worrying sheep. The path will run from Rhydyfelin to Trefechan,
    following the rail trackbed which until the 1960s was part of the train route to Carmarthen. Some
    residents are worried the path will be too close to their homes, could be used by noisy
    motorcyclists and may lead to vandalism or theft. John Davies, of Dwylan, Rhydyfelin, told
    Ceredigion planning committee: "The land forms part of an agricultural field and offers shelter to
    livestock from the prevailing westerly winds. "It is secluded and tranquil with no public access and
    is a haven for wild animals." Mr Davies, who works for the National Farmers' Union, claimed old
    people were frightened the cycle-path would provide an ideal escape route for would-be criminals. He
    added: "The embankment directly overlooks our house, which will reduce our privacy and house value.
    It would be cheaper to upgrade the existing public access between Aberystwyth and Rhydyfelin - Nanny
    Goat's Walk." But the scheme has been welcomed by Llanfarian and Aberystwyth councils. And a letter
    to the committee from Catherine McKenzie, of Glynteg, Rhydyfelin, and 11 other cyclists, says the
    path is needed to make cycling safer. It would also be seen as a step by the county council towards
    complying with the Countryside and Rights of Way Bill published in March. She adds: "The Government
    has said it wants to see more provision for cyclists and provides support for initiatives such as
    the national cycle network." Another cyclist, John Hepworth, of Islwyf, Rhydyfelin, said the number
    of cyclists using the A487 trunk road between the village and Aberystwyth has increased noticeably
    in recent years and, where this road is narrow, people on bikes are a danger to themselves and to
    other road-users, with some using the pavement. "People who would prefer to cycle do not do so now
    because of the danger. In this family, the cycle-path would greatly reduce the need to use a car for
    short local journeys." Aberystwyth butcher Rob Rattray is objecting to the plan because the rail
    embankment is part of a field used for several years by his animals. He adds: "It is an integral
    part of my farming system and is included in calculations on which sheep annual premium and suckler
    cow premium payments are based. "There will be an increased likelihood of sheep and cattle-worrying
    as it would be impossible to police all dogs finding their way onto the cycleway." Deferring the bid
    by the county council, the planning committee last week gave officials power to approve the
    application if no referable objections were received. The path will begin in Rhydyfelin where the
    old railway embankment meets the minor road and end in Dinas Terrace, Trefechan. Aberystwyth Town
    Council has said it hopes no trees will be destroyed during construction of the path, saying there
    should be only lopping or trimming. The cycleway will be within the Ceredigion Coastline Special
    Landscape Area and Aberystwyth Landscape Protection Area

    Madam, Re: Article ‘Fears of Cycling Criminals' Had your fascinating piece on the proposed cycleway
    from Trefechan to Rhydyfelin been dated 1 April, then its contents would have been credible! The
    vision of wheezing criminals, stolen videos strapped to their panniers, making a fast getaway back
    to the safety of Aberystwyth on bicycles defies the imagination. At the start of the 21st century
    let's begin to retreat from the negative influence of the ‘Nimby' and the ‘Luddite!' Come on
    Ceredigion, where is the vision for our green, sustainable future? All over Britain, the effects of
    the Sustrans initiative on developing new cycle routes, is now being felt. A clean, quiet,
    infrastructure, providing a positive system of communications for both local commuters, tourists and
    school-children. Many of the Sustrans routes follow the course of abandoned railway lines. Such
    developments are inherently logical, utilising safe, off-road routes, built to extremely low ruling
    gradients; perfect for family cycling. During the winter of 1997/98 I carried out a detailed field
    research of the current status and ownership of the old Manchester & Milford Railway route between
    Aberystwyth and Strata Florida Station. This work was done partly on behalf of Sustrans, and partly
    as part of a more localised initiative to develop rural tourism in Ceredigion. The results were
    astounding. Since being sold off in truncated sections to local landowners and other agencies (such
    as Forestry Commission) the route had been very largely untouched by redevelopment. The
    infrastructure, earthworks, many bridges, and almost the entire ballast lay overgrown and merely
    forgotten, often with its original railway boundary fencing intact. Then came a small advertisement
    in the Western Mail. Railtrack Properties were holding an auction in Bristol to dispose of old
    sections of railway land still residually owned since the days of British Railways. Listed were two
    sections of trackbed between Trawscoed and Ystrad Meurig. Could this be the catalyst for the bigger
    vision of an Ystwyth Valley Cycleway? After alerting Sustrans to the potential, they successfully
    acquired a three-quarter-mile section of beautifully wooded route north west of Tynygraig. The
    theoretical proposal was now beginning to turn into reality. The vision is simply this. A virtually
    continuous off-road cycleway stretching from Aberystwyth town to Strata Florida Abbey, directly
    linking the cultural ‘capital' of Wales with the ‘Westminster Abbey of Wales'. Apart from the
    cultural imagery, the safe, well-graded route would provide a welcome support for existing shops and
    rural post offices, and stimulate the provision of new accommodation. At Strata Florida Station, the
    route could link via Ffair Rhos and Claerwen to the Elan Valley and the National Network already
    extant in Powys. To the south, Curiad Caron are interested in links to Tregaron and the Teifi
    Valley. Now that the Ceredigion County strategy for tourism under Objective One has flagged up
    Footpaths and Cycleways as the major components for sustainable development, the way should be clear
    for a major concerted effort on the Ystwyth Valley Route. Trefechan to Rhydyfelin is a test case for
    the resolve of the authorities to make this vision work to the benefit of the local commuters and
    the country. I firmly believe that this development offers a unique opportunity of national
    significance which could become a classic route with the possibility of an avenue of linear
    sculptures depicting characters from Welsh History and a railway exhibition centre at Llanilar. The
    formation of a support group for this route should be an early objective and I would be delighted to
    co-ordinate interest in this proposition. I can be contacted on 01970 890620 during office hours, by
    FAX on 01545 570823, or e-mail: [email protected] Yours sincerely Peter Lloyd Harvey Llywernog
    Silver-lead Mine Ponterwyd Aberystwyth Ceredigion

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