Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Friday, 3 July 2009 16:03 UK

2m cycle path bridges are opened

Vera Arrowsmith on the cycle path bridge
The bridges take riders right over the A55

Bridges carrying a £2m cycle path between two Conwy villages along the A55 have been officially opened.

Cyclists and school children were among those who attended the event on the mile-long route between Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfechan.

Construction was left 90% completed when a construction firm went into administration earlier this year.

The cycle path is the 10th route through or over the headland, and follows the original Telford road.

"Now that it is finished it will be a boost to cycling and walking in the area, and will link the two communities," said Economy and Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones after the official opening.

I used to walk along the pavement at the side of the road, and the noise and the wind from passing traffic was awful
Joyce Spilsbury, Penmaenmawr

Part of the structure goes out over the dual carriageway, but it is mostly more inland, high above the busy road below.

Vera Arrowsmith, who had taken two-and-a-half hours to cycle to Llanfairfechan from Prestatyn, said said objectors to the bridges - who had complained about the visual impact of the structures - were missing the point.

"Safety is more important than looks," she said.

Ysgol Pant yr Rhedyn
The school children were given individual passports

Joyce Spilsbury from Penmaenmawr, agreed, saying: "I regularly walk to see a friend at Llanfairfechan and I think this is wonderful.

"I used to walk along the pavement at the side of the road, and the noise and the wind from passing traffic was awful, it was really stressful."

The new path was rewarding, according to Arthur Miller, who had cycled from Chester.

"I'm very impressed, and the nice thing is you ride on the original road," he said.

"A couple of years ago I tried to cycle this way, but the road (A55) was just too dangerous."

Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr Rotary club were set up halfway along the path, having lugged a plastic picnic table and chairs with them for half a mile.

The view along the coast walking towards Penmaenmawr
The view along the coast walking towards Penmaenmawr

Their "shop" provided refreshments on the opening day, but also commemorative passports for school children from both villages who were walking from either side.

Historian and rotary club member Dennis J Roberts has also produced a history, "Ten Roads across Penmaenmawr, which will be sold for charity.

Conwy county councillor Andrew Hinchliff said it was the first time in 30 years that there had been a safe route for walkers and cyclists between the two villages.

En route from Llanfairfechan to the halfway rendezvous Mathew Jones, head teacher of Ysgol Pant yr Rhedyn, said he saw the route as an educational resource.

"We can do everything from traffic surveys to art," he said.

Carol Edwards, the mayor of Llanfairfechan, added: "This is just fantastic. Before you had the prospect of trying to cross four lanes of traffic.

"Now you are so much closer to the wildlife, and with the view you could be anywhere."

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