Abergavenny active travel

MCC have issued a nice (and I bet expensive) video of active travel upgrades in Llanfoist and Castle Meadows. So I thought I would post a few comments of my own. I'm bound to upset someone, so apologies in advance. You can email activetravel@monmouthshire.gov.uk

First off, I'm very keen on active travel improvements. I don't drive. I walk Castle Meadows and on in to Llanfoist (ideally every day, but yeh, weather permitting). Cycling would be great but a total pain right now, and cycling through town is off putting to say the least, meaning my bicycle has been out of use for 3 years now. Just walking along the A40 in to town means encountering aggressive road users at various side roads, and a dangerous crossing on the box junction in town.

And, apart from the river looking very clean in that video (which would be an improvement), it looks nice, overall...


Castle Meadows can flood, which is understood, but at present, even a bit of rain leaves the current path more of a series of small lakes. Avoiding them means mud, which I know from bitter experience can lead to slips and falls. Will the new pathway have substantially better drainage to handle normal rain?

The Mill Lane access also suffers from flooding in rain leaving a lot of mud, and I would hope that is improved as well.


If making new junction markings, can we at least try and mark them to reflect highway code rule 170, and make it really clear that road users on the path continuing along the road have priority over vehicles turning?

The cycle path (shared path) stopping at every side road is treating bicycles as second class road users. Ideally separate cycle infrastructure would be good rather than shared paths, but space is limited.

At present there are routes on this proposal where a cyclist is far better off simply using the road (as they are fully entitled to do), as they do not have to give way at side roads, or avoid pedestrians.

I am, however, pleased to see zebra crossings at the roundabouts, especially crossing to Waitrose, as that is a dangerous crossing right now.

The cutting

This is confusing, the cutting shows cycle symbols on the road. Is it a cycle path, in which are why are cars there (and won't that piss off the residents)? If a road, why the cycle symbols?

Cattle grids

This is a problem - dog walkers are livid at cattle grids, but almost anything else is a major annoyance and discouragement to cyclists. Is there any way to improve matters? I mean one could have gates locked open when no cattle, but dog walkers would lose dogs through them, so I have no idea what the answer is here. Are there dog safe cattle grids? And don't forget wheelchair users. The video shows both gates and cattle grids in various places at present.

I'll add anything else I think of.


  1. A cycle symbol on the road may be there to advise other road users to expect to encounter cyclists, rather than to indicate it's a cycle track.

    1. Err, but surely, apart from motorways, that applies to every single road, so why a special symbol in this case. I may have to go read the highway code now.

  2. I've never heard the phrase "active travel" before. Isn't all travel necessarily "active"? Or are there people who aim to reach their destination via tectonic plate movements or spontaneous quantum tunnelling?

    1. They think it sounds better than "we're prioritising pedestrians and cyclists over car drivers".

    2. Nothing could be further from the truth - pedestrians and cyclists remain "second class" in almost all transport infrastructure. This is a step towards some level of parity.

  3. Spring loaded or weight closed gate plus cattle grid works well, we have many pairs in Cambridge. Cyclists use the cattle grid, dog walkers and wheelchairs use the gate, everyone else generally takes whichever is free at the time. But it is essential the gates close on their own, using either weights or springs.

  4. Coming from somewhere (NW Scotland) where cattle grids are everywhere and have been for a couple of hundred years I don't understand the problem with dogs? Dogs cope fine with cattle grids - they have paws, not hooves.

    More of an issue with the dog owners and their lack of patience rather than the dogs.


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