Page last updated at 05:59 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 06:59 UK

Cash for valleys' cycle network

Cyclist on cycle path
The routes will link up tourist attractions and major employers

Around 100 miles of new routes for cyclists and walkers will be developed in the south Wales valleys, completing a £16m network, it has been announced.

Former tramways, towpaths and railways will be transformed in the area over the next three years.

Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said the £7.6m investment would benefit tourists and visitors.

He said it would encourage people to ditch their cars in Merthyr Tydfil, Pontypridd, Llantrisant and Pontypool.

The money, from Europe, the Welsh Assembly Government and Big Lottery Fund, will complete the Valleys Cycle Network.

It will also link existing routes in Swansea, Llynfi, Taff, Ely and Ebbw valleys.

Mr Jones said: "We are committed to encouraging more cycling and walking throughout Wales, helping people to reduce car journeys and provide them with healthy and cost effective access to employment and training opportunities.

"This project will bring immense benefits to the health and well-being of people in the south Wales valleys, and to the environment of the area by reducing emissions caused by car use.

"It will form part of a wider scheme which will encourage more route users across the whole of Wales."

The project will be led by the sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

Director Lee Waters said: "These new routes will make it easier for the people of the valleys to get around their communities and to work on foot or by bike, and will also form part of a larger network that will attract tourists from across the country."

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