IMPROVEMENT work on a popular walking and cycling route in the west of Newport has resumed, two months after being suspended when coronavirus lockdown measures were implemented.

The route - which carries a section of the Sirhowy Valley Walk, and runs from the roundabout at the intersection of Risca Road and Fields Park Road through to the Bassaleg Road end of Western Avenue - skirts Coed Melyn woods and allotments, and St Woolos Cemetery, and crosses open space to the rear of Bassaleg Road.

Prior to work beginning, it comprised a narrow tarmac path and grassland, but there had been complaints about the poor state of the former, and as part of the city council's active travel plans, it was decided to resurface the whole route.


Work began in January to install a wider path, which unlike before will cut across the open space from the play area off Bassaleg Road and Vancouver Drive, down to the existing gate in Western Avenue. The path on this latter section has until now been just worn grass.

Contractors are now back on site, working to Welsh Government guidelines and following a risk assessment.

The path is largely complete apart from its surface layer, and it is hoped the project will be completed this summer, if there is not a further tightening of restrictions.

The path, popular with walkers and dog walkers, has also been identified as a potential off-road cycling route from Risca Road to Bassaleg Road.

It would alleviate the need for cyclists to brave busy sections of the former, between junction 27 (High Cross) of the M4 and the roundabout at Fields Park Road, near Stow Park Tennis Club, and the latter in and out of Newport, to and from the Handpost.

The project - which has received Active Travel funding from the Welsh Government - also incorporates special measures to protect the roots of the many trees near the path.