The first section of the ambitious Tywi Valley Path – a 16-mile stretch running alongside the River Tywi between Carmarthen and Llandeilo – is now open.
Over 750m of pathway linking Carmarthen Museum in Abergwili with Bwlch Bach to Fronun, and on to Whitemill, offers cyclists and walkers beautiful scenery including views of the Bishops Palace gardens and ponds.
The Tywi Valley Path is one of Carmarthenshire County Council’s exciting capital projects, and has received £128,000 through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
When complete, it is expected to boost the local economy by up to £2.4million a year through increased tourism and visitor spend, which is part of a long-term vision for Carmarthenshire to be recognised as the Cycling Hub of Wales
Good progress is being made across the entire Tywi Valley Path project – advanced works to the Carmarthen and District Anglers car park area have also recently been completed, and land negotiations continue to progress.
Works relating to the planning application for the eastern section are ongoing.
Land for the first section, starting at Abergwili, was acquired via a permissive agreement with the Welsh Government.
It involved the construction of a three metre wide path and an area for 25 car parking spaces near the county museum, travelling approximately 750m before it joins the U2183 from Bwlch Bach to Fronun – a section of road that has been upgraded as part of the Tywi Valley Path scheme with new signage, surfacing and road markings.
The opening of the first section coincides with the start of a major £1.25million restoration of the museum and £2.4million Tywi Gateway Project to restore and re-invigorate the Bishop’s Park and former palace outbuildings as a learning facility, visitor centre and café.
Cllr Hazel Evans, Executive Board Member for Environment, said: “It’s fantastic to see the first phase officially open and people enjoying what has been a long-term vision to support the county’s cycling and transport ambitions. The Tywi Valley Path will provide a 16-mile stretch of off-road pathway allowing people the opportunity to travel in a different way between Carmarthen and Llandeilo. With good progress being made, we’re excited to see the project ploughing ahead.”
Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole, with Executive Board responsibility for regeneration, added: “The Tywi Valley Path has the potential to significantly boost the local economy, and our officers will be seeking to work with businesses along its route to maximise its benefits, providing jobs and new facilities for people to use and enjoy.”
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said: “I am pleased that this new stretch of walking and cycling path has opened, providing a great opportunity for people to get out and about enjoying the Carmarthenshire countryside.”