Bridgend Coastal Path – Press release, August 2012

Carwyn Jones AM at the opening of the Bridgend Coastal Path
Carwyn Jones AM at the opening of the Bridgend Coastal Path

‘People’s path’ is officially opened at Porthcawl celebration event
First Minister Carwyn Jones AM has officially opened the Bridgend County Borough stretch of the 870 mile All Wales Coast Path at a special celebration event held in Porthcawl.
Running for 11.5 miles along the picturesque coastline of Merthyr Mawr, Porthcawl, Sker and Kenfig, the route has been transformed by the Labour run Bridgend County Borough Council over the last six years at a cost of £1m.

Working in partnership with the Labour Welsh Government, European Regional Development Fund, Countryside Council for Wales, the Bridgend Local Access Forum, Porthcawl Town Council and Cornelly and Merthyr Mawr community councils, the path has led to improved public rights of access from Porthcawl up to and beyond Pink Bay, particularly for those with mobility problems.

It’s also created new access at Kenfig National Nature Reserve, through Merthyr Mawr Warren, Newton Burrows and Trecco Bay, while the replacement of 14 access structures with kissing gates and bridleway gates has improved accessibility along the coast for all users.

A critical part of this project has involved consultation with local businesses and working in partnership with a number of local landowners who have been affected by the route of the coast path, including the Kenfig Corporation Trust, Parkdean Holidays, Newton Porthcawl Estates, Merthyr Mawr Estates, and the Price, Knight and Evans families.
The majority of the route is new public footpath but 1.4 miles has been registered as Public Bridleway. The council has also upgraded another 1.5 miles of existing rights of way including constructing a new pedestrian/cycle track across Locks Common and a Boardwalk between Rest Bay and Pink Bay.

The popular Rest Bay Boardwalk has been one of the largest projects within the scheme, costing more than £300k. The nearby Locks Common shared walkway and cycleway project cost £220k and has provided increased access between Porthcawl and Rest Bay for cyclists, pedestrians and those with limited mobility.

Deputy Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, Cllr David Sage, said: “I’m incredibly proud that Bridgend County Borough can boast such a picturesque section of the All Wales Coast Path. I’d like to thank the Rights of Way Team at Bridgend County Borough Council for all their work to make this so accessible and attractive to walkers. We know it’s brought many thousands of walkers to this part of the path already. It’s a true people’s path.

“As ever, a project like this is dependent on outstanding collaboration so we must thank our partners within Welsh Government, European Regional Development Fund and Countryside Council for Wales, as well as local support from the Bridgend Local Access Forum, Porthcawl Town Council and Cornelly and Merthyr Mawr community councils. And we would not have been able to achieve this without the co-operation of the landowners who have been affected by the project. Without their agreement and assistance the creation of the Bridgend County stretch of the coast path would not have been possible.”

Carwyn Jones AM added: “I am delighted to open the Bridgend County stretch of the Wales Coast Path. This significant project has involved support from a wide range of partners including local landowners, which will benefit local people and visitors to the area by providing access to this beautiful section of our coastal landscape.”