The Welsh Government is to appoint a new member to the Transport Focus Board. They are anxious to hear from suitably qualified people who have a passion for passengers – making journeys better connected, more accessible, value for money, and safe. The successful applicant will work in partnership with staff and key stakeholders across Wales and Great Britain. He or she will help ensure that the voice of the transport user is not only heard but understood and acted upon by those in positions of influence. The role is about using skills and personal experience to make a difference for passengers in Wales and throughout Great Britain. The closing date for applications is Friday 30 September and full information on the role and how to apply is available at http://www.transportfocus.org.uk/about/careers/.
A major conference about the Severn Estuary takes place on 22 September, bringing together people from both sides of the Estuary. The 2016 Severn Estuary Forum, held at Blackfriars Priory, Gloucester, will focus on Planning and Governance, Coastal Communities and the Historic Environment and Transport and Infrastructure. It has been organised by the Severn Estuary Partnership, which includes representatives from all local authorities in the area and other relevant organisations. For a full list of speakers and more information on the event, visit http://www.severnestuarypartnership.org.uk/sep/forum/2016-2/.
Monmouthshire County Council is to consult the public over its plans to build a walking and cycling footbridge over the River Usk at Llanfoist. Public consultation events will be held in Llanfoist Village Hall from 10am to 7pm on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 September. The proposed crossing will provide an alternative to using the Grade II-listed stone arched bridge spanning the Usk and carrying the busy A4143. The new footbridge is proposed to be constructed 300 metres east of the existing road bridge and will be linked to current routes by the construction of a new path along the river towards to The Bridge public house. Two options – a stress ribbon bridge and a box girder bridge – are considered as most suitable for the 55 metre span over the river. Building is likely to take place within the next two years.
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority has launched a brand new 56 mile touring route for cyclists as part of its celebrations for National Parks Week. Starting in Llandeilo in the west and ending at Abergavenny in the east, it takes in some of the most breath-taking scenery the park has to offer along the way. For families, the section running from Brecon to Abergavenny follows the beautiful Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal and is perfect for those cycling with children. For more experienced cyclists there is an alternative option to continue along the road. The route is designed to be accessible by rail at each end and is available to download online broken down into five easy to follow sections. Development of the route was part funded by Visit Wales. To download the map, visit www.breconbeacons.org/cycleacrossthebeacons.
The MonDean Walking Festival, 1 – 9 October, www.walkinginmonmouthshire.org, covers parts of Monmouthshire and the Forest of Dean and the web site sets out the walks on offer over the period. Experienced walk leaders will help you to explore the hidden corners and the well loved areas of the Wye Valley, Monmouthshire’s interesting countryside with its history and rolling pastures and the delights of the Forest of Dean. Rambles ranging from 3 – 7/8 miles; longer hikes up to 12 miles; try a canoe and walk from Monmouth via the Kymin to Redbrook and back; walk several peaks of the Black Mountains on a 20+ mile walk; explore the 3 Castles Walk; wander through the Forest of Dean and discover its history and wild life; walk the old railway from Chepstow to Monmouth and learn about its history.
Sustrans is encouraging people to get involved and have their say on where new and improved walking and cycling routes are needed as the local authorities start to prepare the Integrated Network Maps required by the Active Travel Act. Government funding will only be allocated to these routes over the next fifteen years. You can register your interest with the council via Cycling UK at:
Our local astronomers (see http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/Clubs/Default.aspx?CountyId=92) report that, despite the hype, it will still be worth popping out into the back garden after the moon sets at half past midnight on Friday, 12 August. The real meteor shower buffs say that the best time is just before astronomical twilight starts at 03:18am (sunrise is at 05:51). But the sky will be dark any time after midnight. There is some science behind this year’s peak. The peak prediction of 200 meteors per hour (3+ every minute) is, of course, under ‘ideal conditions’ not Monmouth conditions. However, normal rate is 60 – 80 meteors per hour.
Crickhowell’s splendid Tools for Self Reliance spent eight great days at the Eisteddfod at Abergavenny with fifteen volunteers helping on the stall. The stall was courtesy of HUB Cymru Africa who invited them and four other local organisations to join them. They raised over £1,000 selling Fair Trade tools and asking for sponsorship for tool kits. This all helps to make up the funding they have received from the HUB and other generous donors for the current project, but they still need another £6,000 to cover the whole cost which runs until January 2018. If you would like to help the working people in Kiabakari and Namagondo villages together with their families, over 750 people, send a donation via http://www.tfsrcymru.org.uk/product-category/donations/?product_view=gridhttp://www.tfsrcymru.org.uk/product-category/donations/?product_view=grid
If you like exploring environmental data on Wales, this web site may interest you: http://www.infobasecymru.net/IAS/themes/environmentandsustainability/environment/profile?profileId=432
There is lots of other information on the site as well.