A programme of improvements to Abergavenny’s Castle Meadow which could see a footbridge being build close to the existing town bridge has been submitted to Monmouthshire County Council’s planners for consideration.
The proposed development seeks to improve the existing pedestrian and cycle connectivity across Castle Meadows by providing Active Travel compliant routes. This includes the upgrade of existing routes, access points and the replacement of the existing footbridge over the River Gavenny.
If given the green light MCC hopes the improvement to the Castle Meadows will ensure a good connection between Abergavenny town centre and Llanfoist, which is accessible to everyone and will provide and provide an alternative to private car use.
It will also increase the number of pedestrians and cyclists using Castle Meadows for commuting and leisure purposes and make a positive contribution to air quality by promoting active travel and supporting the reduction of carbon dioxide around the Abergavenny / Llanfoist area.
The council is looking to make improvements to facilities around Castle Meadows after a study found many people who would otherwise walk or cycle between Abergavenny and Llanfoist are put off by the poor pedestrian and cycling connections across the existing Llanfoist bridge over the River Usk and Castle Meadows.
The narrow footway on one side of the bridge for pedestrians does not cater for cyclists, and a heavy volume of traffic using surrounding roads raised safety concerns for both pedestrians and cyclists, concluding the current infrastructure does not lend itself to active travel.
The design and location of the new bridge was agreed after engagement with the public and stakeholders. It is proposed it will be built downstream from the existing bridge. An application was subsequently submitted and planning permission was granted in 2018.
The new bridge will be 60m long and 3m wide, with a timber and stainless-steel deck suitable for both pedestrians and cyclist and users of all abilities.
The council is also proposing improvements to existing walking and cycling routes at Castle Meadows, including re-surfacing and widening existing pathways to 3m wide with a hybrid access solution at entry and exit points, comprising a gate and a cattle grid that will allow free flow for all users.
The scheme has so far attracted a mixed reception locally, with some residents welcoming the improved facilities but others fearing it will lead to the ‘urbanisation of the Meadows’
A planning application was submitted to Monmouthshire County Council on December 22 and is currently open for public consultation. For details visit MCC’s online planning portal at planningonline.monmouthshire.gov.uk