DYFFRYN AERON CYCLE PATH
Currently residents of Ciliau Aeron and the surrounding area can only safely access amenities in Aberaeron by car. The purpose of the feasibility study was to determine the viability and cost of creating a 1.27 mile long cycle path from Ciliau Aeron to the National Trust estate - Llanerchaeron. By doing this the cycle path would then link up with the National Trust’s network of footpaths and the already existing cycle path to Aberaeron.
The Dyffryn Aeron Community Cycle Group identified a need for this route after several meetings in 2015. The aim of the proposed cycle route is to provide local residents and visitors with a safe and sustainable way to travel to not only visit Llanerchaeron but provide access to Aberaeron whilst being able to enjoy and explore the countryside of the Aeron Valley.
The activities within this study included a feasibility study, a questionnaire and a consultation event.
The questionnaire was available both online and at the consultation event. From both opportunities 210 responses were received. Some of the key results found from the questionnaire was:
- Whilst around 46% of respondents now use local footpaths every week, the results saw that over 80% would use the new path.
- An encouraging 38% said they would use the new path to observe nature whilst over 70% said they would now cycle between Ciliau Aeron and Aberaeron.
- There was a full range of age groups involved in the whole consultation process. (8% U16, 36% 17-45yo, 18% 46-65yo, whilst 33% were over 65.
Interest in the project was multi-generational and responses to the questions asking for volunteers for construction and onward maintenance of the path was also well received. The benefits of the cycle path are the following
- provide local residents and visitors with a safe and sustainable way to travel to Aberaeron
- allow local residents and visitors to enjoy and explore the countryside of the Aeron Valley
- allow children of Ciliau Aeron School to access learning resources at Tyglyn walled garden and Llanerchaeron on foot
- there would be a large increase in the amount of people who would use the path instead of driving
- As well as cyclists and walkers, the results of the study found that people would also use the path to observe nature
- The average figures suggest that Cyclists spend £21 on average each visit into a town centre area and walkers spending £26
- The National Trust property at Llanerchaeron will enjoy increased visitor numbers. With visitors spending on entrance fees, purchasing items from their shop and stopping for a coffee and cake in the cycle-friendly cafe.
- Also based at Llanerchaeron is 'Pure Ride Cycle Hire' who have a fleet of 20+ adults and children's bikes, as well as tag-along bikes and trailers for the smaller children. Pure Ride currently serve tourists and locals at peak times wishing to cycle into Aberaeron along the old railway line. They also service the local Mountain bike trail centres at Brechfa forest Carmarthenshire, and Nant yr Arian near Aberystwyth. This new route would increase traffic through the hire shop, helping to secure the future of this small business and allowing them to expand, even creating seasonal jobs.
This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.