The ownership and maintenance of the Garw Valley Trail was raised in the Senedd this week by Huw Irranca-Davies MS who highlighted the need to resolve the historic ongoing maintenance issues.
The trail’s complicated history of ownership and liabilities has meant that it is falling between different organisations to pick up responsibility – an ongoing issue for many years, much to the frustration of local residents, organisations and visitors.
The former colliery rail line has become a much-loved, but somewhat neglected, community footpath and cycle path which has an active interest from a heritage rail company, a separate local heritage and history society, environmental groups, and is also part of the national cycle network.
However, public liability accountability seems to fall between the various stakeholders, some of which include ‘Crown Estates’, local authority, Network Rail and Sustrans amongst others.
Speaking with the Welsh Government Environment Minister, Huw Irranca-Davies MS said: “As of this moment, this vital community wildlife and recreation corridor risks falling into disrepair because no-one is able to step up and take responsibility for it.
After years of frustration for all involved, I have contacted the various stakeholders to see if we can agree a way forward and to encourage a resolution to this long-running saga.
It is such a beautiful and valued trail, and one I’ve used regularly. We must sort the ownership and ongoing maintenance so everyone from near and far can continue to enjoy this jewel in the Garw Valley.”
Video link to Plenary exchange with Environment Minister: