A POPULAR walking route at Dolgarrog is to reopen with upgraded facilities, thanks to Welsh Government funding.

Conwy County Borough Council has been working with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to develop plans to reopen Dolgarrog pipe bridge. The pipe bridge has been closed to walkers and local users due to significant safety concerns, including the deteriorating condition of the timber deck boards and the need for additional measures to safeguard the water mains supply to over 9,000 homes in North Wales.

This pipe bridge – which has never been a designated footpath or public right of way – needs significant investment to make it usable and safe for local users.

The Welsh Government funding of £735k will fund the Council’s contribution to refurbishing the bridge and allow for a significant upgrade.

Instead of the previous narrow walking route between the pipes, users will benefit from a shared walking and cycling route on an overdeck above the pipes.

This will allow easier access to Dolgarrog railway station and attractions in the area.

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, said: “It is essential that we all make more local journeys on foot or by bike, to benefit our health and the environment.

“But often there are blockages in the way that don’t make it easy, or exiting routes aren’t pleasant experiences to use.

“We’ve set aside a significant amount of money to help create safe and attractive routes to encourage people to travel more actively and I’m delighted that we are investing in upgrading Dolgarrog bridge to open it up to more people.”

Cllr Greg Robbins, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transportation at Conwy County Borough Council said: “We are very pleased to receive Welsh Government funding for the Council’s contribution to refurbishing the bridge.

“It is a significant sum, which means the bridge will be upgraded to make it much easier for pedestrians and cyclists.

“This is an excellent outcome and a result of positive partnership working with all involved.”

Ian Christie, Managing Director for Water Services at Welsh Water said: “Although the pipe bridge is not a designated right of way, we are aware that it is very popular with walkers and local residents wishing to access the railway station on foot.

“We’re delighted at this funding news, which together with our investment, will allow us to reopen the bridge for the local community.”

Work is expected to start in spring 2022 once winter river levels have dropped, with the improved bridge open to the public in autumn 2022.