After years of campaigning and preparation a pedestrian and cycle path on a disused railway line in the Wye Valley has now opened. The Wye Valley Greenway project aims to repurpose the long-since defunct railway line between Chepstow and Monmouth. Part of the line – now open to the public – passes through a 1km tunnel near the National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC) just outside Chepstow.
The tunnel was surveyed for 18 months before being opened to the public, as the area is important for lesser horseshoe bats. Low level lighting has been installed which, although disorienting at first, gives the tunnel atmosphere as well as protecting the bats. To protect the bats the tunnel section is closed off at night with large gates.
However, concerns have already been expressed about the safety of mixing walkers and cyclists in the narrow low-lit tunnel where no cycle lights or torches are allowed.