Photo: © Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales
Gwynedd Council is considering the closure of iconic Barmouth Bridge to pedestrians and cyclists as one of a number of possible cost-cutting measures, in order to save the £30,000 a year they currently pay Network Rail for the right of way across the railway bridge. Walkers will face an 18-mile detour if the bridge is closed.
26-year old Amy Martin who grew up in Llwyngwril has set up a petition calling on Gwynedd Council to cease considerations of closing this much-loved walking and cycling route in recognition of its economic and community value.
Barmouth Bridge forms part of the Wales Coast Path, the Mawddach Trail and the National Cycle Network. As well as being a strategic link across the Mawddach Estuary the bridge offers fantastic views of the surrounding Cardigan Bay coastline and Cambrian mountains. Nearly 100,000 walkers use the Mawddach Trail each year. Locals are concerned that closing the route to pedestrians and cyclists could devastate the tourist economy of the area.
The campaign to keep Barmouth Bridge open to walkers and cyclists has attracted local and national attention and media coverage. Gill Caves of Meirionydd Ramblers was quoted saying
“As a walking group, we would obviously have great concern if this vital, and more importantly, safe link along the coastal path was closed to pedestrians and cyclists.
“I think many people would agree that the view of the Mawddach Estuary from the centre of the bridge is reason enough alone to save the iconic structure. It's one of the most scenic spots in the country.”
The bridge has been used by walkers for nearly 150 years. The proposal would result in the closure of the bridge to pedestrians for the first time since it was built in 1867.
Ron Williams, Area Footpath Officer for North Wales Area, has called on Ramblers to sign the petition and circulate it as widely as possible.
Sign the petition to keep Barmouth Bridge open to walkers