ANOTHER stretch of cycle track has opened in Swansea, but a beautifully carved owl created by one of the contractors has gone missing.
The 1.3-mile shared use path links up Winch Wen, Trallwn and Llansamlet.
At Trallwn, cyclists can pick up another relatively new path to Morfa Retail Park, and from there ride along the well-established national cycle network route to Swansea city centre.
The investment has been welcomed, but the demise of the wooden owl so soon after the path at Trallwn was completed has caused upset.
Lee Waters, Wales’ Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, who helped launch the cycle path, said: “This is an important facility for the whole community – helping to encourage more people to cycle and also walk this route instead of using the car. Across Wales we have issues with obesity and also with the impacts of vehicle emissions on our air quality. Our broader plan is to get as many people as possible involved in cycling.”
Nick Guy, chairman of Swansea Bay campaign group Wheelrights, said the £2m spent on new and upgraded paths in Swansea in 2018-19 has been put to good use. “The (Welsh Government) Active Travel Act has been a real game-changer,” he said. “And I think attitudes are changing. People can see the health benefits.”Referring to the missing owl, Mr Guy said: “It’s such a shame. It was a piece of public art to enhance the experience of walking and cycling, and it was donated by the contractor.” Mr Guy said it appeared someone had tried to cut the owl away from the tree stump it was part of before it was removed at a later date.
Wheelrights has posted on appeal to find the missing sculpture on its Facebook page.
Other cycle path schemes completed in Swansea include a widening of the prom track near Sketty Lane and also at Singleton Park, plus a new section from Ynsytawe to Clydach.Council chiefs are also keen to create an east-to-west cycle path across the north of Swansea, which would link communities with Morriston Hospital and the DVLA, and have bid for further Welsh Government funding for the new financial year.
Councillor Mark Thomas, cabinet member for environment and infrastructure management, said: “We have delivered a series of improvements during the last eight months, all of which help increase the existing cycle infrastructure in the city. I look forward to us being able to continue this work to increase cycling provision even further.”