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Cycle route in Swansea or Alpe d'Huez? Hairpin-packed active travel path opens

We've all got a new favourite cycle path.....

Alpe d'Huez, Sa Calobra, Stelvio Pass, Lacets de Montvernier... is this new cycle route in Swansea the latest addition to the great hairpin-covered climbs of the cycling world? 

At 1.4km long, probably not. But it makes a pleasant change from the usual fare of painted cycle lanes and baffling designs full of active travel obstacles.

> How fast!? We take a look at Tom Pidcock's Alpe d'Huez-conquering Strava file

Swansea Council has turned the Ravine, a site in Townhill previously blighted by fly-tipping, into a shared-use path for walkers and cyclists which zig zags up one of the city's hillsides, transforming it into a miniature replica of some of Europe's great climbs...

The route is lined with trees and greenery, and offers a route between Gwent Road and Gors Avenue that avoids the traffic, as long as you're willing to tackle the numerous switchbacks.

The 'Ravine' Swansea Council
The 'Ravine' Swansea Council

Andrew Stevens, Cabinet Member for Environment & Infrastructure, told Wales 24/7: "This route is one of the more challenging that we have created. Our aim was to link up two sections of the community that are at very different levels in height.

"It's a steep location and so we have created a zig zag-style path which can now be used by everyone.

> Raleigh Chopper vs Alpe d'Huez (+ videos)

"In years gone by, the Ravine has been a hot spot for fly-tipping. Hopefully, now we have opened it up and reclaimed the site, we will see less of this type of behaviour."

The route was funded through to the Welsh Government's Active Travel initiative, with more local routes to come following a successful bid for more than £7 million to support walking and cycling infrastructure projects.

Cllr Andrew Stevens celebrated the news: "Once again, Swansea has been successful in securing important funding that we want to invest in our transport network in the city.

"We have been working extremely hard for a number of years, creating new walking and cycling routes that give residents and visitors alternative ways to get around without needing to use a car.

"In the long term, our aim is to have a fully linked-up network of walking and cycling routes across Swansea so that every community benefits from more sustainable methods of getting around."

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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