Sustrans' Wye Valley path project gains Forest approval

Image caption,
Two tunnels will be re-opened and a new bridge built over the River Wye as part of the project

A new walking and cycling route in the Wye Valley has moved a step closer with approval from the Forest of Dean District Council.

Sustrans wants to convert the former Wye Valley Railway line into a shared use path between Chepstow and Tintern.

It is hoped that the route will enable easier and safer journeys for travellers without the need for a car.

Monmouthshire County Council will now consider the plans, but has yet to set a date for the meeting.

"This path will be a major benefit to the local community, linking a number of towns and villages with Chepstow and Tintern," said Rupert Crosbee, scheme manager for Sustrans.

The project to convert six miles of old railway line will cost more than £1m and require the re-opening of two tunnels and a bridge across the River Wye.

It is being part-funded from a £50m grant from the Big Lottery Fund, awarded to Sustrans following the People's Millions contest in 2007.

Jeremy Cowen, from the Wye Valley Communities for Safe Cycling, said he was "delighted" that Forest of Dean District Council had responded to the support of the local community.

Tidenham Parish Council objected to the plans. It feared the maintenance costs would be too high and the path would attract too much traffic.

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