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Active Travel

Free Cycle Stands

To help encourage more people to cycle, Neath Port Talbot Council is giving away up to four free cycle stands to organisations in locations where cycle parking is needed.

Active Travel is about making our everyday journeys - such as travelling to school, work or the shops by foot, cycling or wheeling.

Active Travel will save you money, improve your health and help the environment.

View NPT’s approved ATNM.

2 out of 3 journeys are less than five miles. If its not far, leave the car.

Changing the way we move around Neath Port Talbot will have a massive impact on your community.

Need a bit of support to find your feet?

Useful tips to help you plan your journey.

Surveys carried out as part of our active journeys programme in Wales show that pupils would prefer to travel actively if they were given the choice.

Employers across Neath Port Talbot should encourage employees to think walk, cycle or wheel.

We need your help as we shape Active Travel plans to improve towns and villages in Neath Port Talbot.

We are striving to make it safer and easier for people to walk, cycle and wheel in and around the county.

See the cycle storage and cycle barrier locations we have mapped out.

What is Active Travel?

Active Travel is about making our everyday journeys - such as travelling to school, work or the shops by foot, cycling or wheeling.

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How will active travel help me?

You will save money

Cars can be expensive. Vehicle tax, maintenance, and insurance costs around £969 per year. And that doesn’t include the fuel to power it. 

You will improve your health and wellbeing

Walking regularly can reduce the risk of heart disease and active travel helps to ease stress levels and benefit your mental wellbeing.

You will help your community and the planet

Active travel cuts congestion, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other air pollutants.

You will save time

It’s quicker than you think – you can walk a mile in around 15 – 20 minutes or cycle it in five. It could take longer to find your car keys!


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Active Travel Network Map

Our Active Travel Network Map shows where walking and cycling routes already exist (Existing Routes) and where upgrades or brand new routes are anticipated for the next 15 years (Future Routes). 

As set out by Welsh Government these routes should be in the following areas:

Neath, Port Talbot, Pontardawe, Croeserw, Cymmer, Brynamman, Gwaun Cae Gurwen, Blaengwrach, Glynneath, Cwmafan, Seven Sisters and Resolven.

This is important because we are able to apply for funding from the Welsh Government each year to implement the proposals on the Active Travel Network map. If routes are not on the map they are not eligible for funding.

View the latest Active Travel Network Map approved in 2022:

Downloadable version of our Active Travel map

Did you know?

2 out of 3 journeys are less than five miles

If it's not far, leave the car

Chose walking, cycling or wheeling


Greener, Happier, Healthier

Up and down the country, more and more people are adopting active travel, to be:

  • greener
  • happier
  • healthier

Changing the way we move around Neath Port Talbot will have a massive impact on your community. And you’ll discover new sights and sounds you’ve never come across!

If it’s not far, leave the car!

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Get inspired

Need a bit of support to find your feet?

Whether it’s taking things slow on a short walk or cycling to get around, being active can benefit us all.

Joining a local cycle club is a great way get advice on cycling, the type of cycle to get to suit your purpose, plus it's a great way to enjoy the benefits of cycling, keeping fit and making new friends, below are some local cycle clubs you may wish to consider joining.

Swansea Wheelrights are a Swansea cycling club where the focus is to help get people on bikes by, eg, providing beginners' classes.   

The Port Talbot Wheelers organise a variety of open races and time trials during the year.  They have various rides throughout the week that suit varying standards.

The Swansea Cycle Group, cycle in the Swansea and outlying areas. All ages and levels are catered for but please note under 16 year olds must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


Be prepared

  • Lighten the load by keeping things at your destination when you can e.g. shoes or a second hairbrush.
  • Small waterproof bags will keep your belongings safe from rain, sweat, or spillages without needing an expensive backpack.
  • If you carry food, think about what might travel well and put it in an appropriate container.
  • Lay everything out the night before for a morning trip. You will be less likely to forget something!
  • Be active for as much or as little of your journey as you want to be. Getting off the bus a stop early and walking an extra 10 minutes counts.
  • Team up with a friend or colleague to motivate each other and have some company.

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Why schools should promote an active school run

Surveys carried out as part of our active journeys programme in Wales show that pupils would prefer to travel actively if they were given the choice.

It goes without saying the benefits of a more active travel policy for schools can be truly significant. These include:

  • Children arrive at school fresh and ready to learn with increased concentration levels throughout the day
  • The streets around the school are safer and the air cleaner, with less congestion.
  • Encouraging an active lifestyle at an early age can help children later in their lives.
  • Educating children about reducing carbon emissions and helping to protect our planet will help in our fight against climate change.


Free cycle stands

To help encourage more people to cycle, we are giving away up to four free cycle stands to organisations in locations where cycle parking is needed – workplaces, leisure facilities or amenities. Find out more details and apply.


Why employers should promote active travel with staff

Employers across Neath Port Talbot should encourage employees to think walk, cycle or wheel for a healthier and more environmentally friendly commute. Leaving the car at home is the greenest way to travel.

There are some great initiatives out there, such as the cycle to work scheme which is an employee benefit that saves 25-39% on a bike and accessories. Employees pay nothing upfront, and the payments are taken tax efficiently from their salary by you, their employer.

You could even hold competitions, asking employees to log their ‘active travel’ journeys to compete with colleagues to see who can clock up the most miles on foot/cycling.


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How we can help

We would love to hear your ideas.

Please contact for further information.


Active Travel Consultations

In 1975 a byelaw was implemented by the former Neath Borough Council setting out the rules of use of many of the pleasure grounds and public open spaces in the former Neath Borough including both the Gnoll Estate and The War Memorial Gardens. Section 7ii of the byelaw states “a person shall not except in the exercise of any lawful right or privilege ride any bicycle, tricycle or other similar machine in any part of the pleasure ground”.

In line with the Welsh Governments transport strategy, Llwybr Newydd, and the Active Travel (Wales) Act to create and encourage more sustainable modes of transport; a proposal is being considered to create a new active travel route between Neath and Cimla. The route will allow the residents of Cimla to access Neath town centre on foot or by bicycle. Improving access for all while encouraging a modal shift to help reduce carbon production.

The main transport route between Neath and Cimla is along the B4287 Cimla road & Afan Valley road. The existing active travel provision along this road is poor especially for cyclists, with cyclists having little alternative but to cycle on road with the traffic. Given the speeds and volume of traffic and the gradient of the road, walking and cycling this route is unsuitable and unsafe for many people wanting to walk and cycle between Neath and Cimla.

Cimla road is often congested at the junction of Cimla road and Eastland road, and is an area being monitored for poor air quality. Encouraging a modal shift to active travel modes rather than private car could help alleviate some of the congestion in the area.

In order to allow cycling on the proposed route above it will be necessary to amend the wording in the 1975 byelaw. The amendment will permit cycling on the path through the war memorial gardens, Neath and in the area of the Gnoll estate between the war memorial gates and Cimla common. A copy of the location plan can be seen below.

At this time it is proposed that the byelaw remains as written for the remaining areas within the Gnoll Estate and for the other pleasure grounds and public open spaces listed in schedules 1 and 2 of the Byelaw. A copy of the Byelaw can be seen below.

Any representations MUST BE SUBMITTED IN WRITING ONLY, setting out the reasons thereof. Responses should be submitted to the Head of Engineering and Transport, The Quays, Baglan Energy Park, Neath, SA11 2GG or email to by no later than 30th June 2024.

Byelaw prohibiting cycling

Route development

We are striving to make it safer and easier for people to walk, cycle and wheel in and around the county through improving walking and cycling routes and facilities for everyday journeys. This section details the active travel schemes that we’ve developed in recent years through Welsh Government Active Travel Funding.

Active Travel funding comes from Welsh Government (with support from Transport for Wales) through a dedicated grant, known as core allocation, and larger grants for specific projects which local authorities must bid for in a competitive process.

Improvements to routes

The walking and cycling route alongside Fabian Way and Ffordd Amazon is a key route for people commuting to Swansea from Neath Port Talbot and vice versa. Minor improvements (for example, improving drainage, cycle signage and road markings) were undertaken on this active travel route to make it easier for users to navigate and to bring it up to Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 standards.

This popular link between Dwr Y Felin Comprehensive and Neath Town Centre received active travel funding in 2020 to improve the footway between the existing footbridge and Neath town centre. Works included resurfacing and the installation of dropped crossings/tactile paving to allow better access for all types of users.

Largely along the Neath Canal, this picturesque route received active travel funding over a four-year period. Improvements undertaken in this timeframe include resurfacing, barrier removal, improving signage and installation of a speed reduction crossing on the B4434 on between Briton Ferry and Tonna. These upgrades have enabled members of the community such as those with prams, wheelchairs or mobility scooters to travel between the residential areas of Briton Ferry and Tonna to the shops in Neath easier and with less restrictions.  It has also encouraged more people to use the route.

Location map of improvements

Before and after photos

Neath Canal before the improvement work

Neath Canal before the improvement work

Neath Canal after the improvement work

Neath Canal cycle path after resurfacing


Following a mixture of riverside paths, new purpose build sections and old railway lines, national cycle route 43 provides an important walking and cycling link from Pontardawe to Swansea and Ystalyfera on almost entirely traffic free paths.

Improvements to this route were largely from Pontardawe town centre to the Swansea boundary, it involved upgrades to surfacing, (including providing a tarmac path around the edge of Pontardawe Recreation Ground) and removal of cycle barriers.  This has provided better access for all users including disabled people.

Location map of improvements

Before and after photos

Pontardawe cycle route before the improvement work

Pontardawe cycle route before the improvement work

Pontardawe cycle route after the improvement work

Pontardawe cycle route after the resurfacing work

This scheme involved construction of a small section of route between the National Cycle Network and Godre'r Graig. Works included obtaining landowner permission to undertake the works, resurfacing the route, raising the parapets (safety barrier) on the footbridge, barrier removal and drainage improvements. This has provided a safe walking route linking Godre'r Graig to the rest of National Cycle Route 43 and beyond.

The villages of Blaengwrach and Cwmgwrach are separated from Glynneath by the A465. The only safe pedestrian route providing a link from these communities to Glynneath is through an underpass under the A465 and across a footbridge over the river Neath. The footbridge over the river Neath has been replaced by Neath Port Talbot following irreparable damage to the previous bridge during storm Dennis. The new footbridge was constructed with greater width to allow the construction of a shared use path. Active Travel funding was used to widen the existing footways from the newly constructed health centre to the new footbridge. This improved accessibility for all including wheelchair users and cyclists.

Location map of improvements

Improvements have been made to active travel routes: FR-PT-SU065 and FR-PT-SU064 on Southdown Road and Southdown Court to improve walking and cycling links between Baglan Bay Retail Park and Sandfields housing estate. Works included:

  • widening and resurfacing of path to enable shared-use of the path
  • improvements to junctions including adding tactile crossing points throughout
  • improvements to lighting near the bridge access

Location map of improvements

Southdown Road path has been widened and resurfaced

Funding has been received to improve the linkages between the hospital and local community with the shop and public transport facilities in Tonna.

Work is ongoing and the proposal includes:

  • widening the existing footway
  • improvements of the crossing facilities at junctions
  • reduction in speed along the route from 30mph to 20mph and the introduction of a transition zone between the 20mph section and 60mph section
  • relocation of the bus stop to allow the improvement of the side road junction
  • installation of seating on the route
  • installation of a green wall to enhance biodiversity and the local environment

See the proposals for the route.

A community consultation took place between May and June 2023, asking residents their opinions on the proposed upgrades. See the results of the survey.

Work is expected to be completed by March 2024.

This proposal will see the construction of a toucan crossing point, speed reduction and parking restrictions on Village Road to allow all users to safely cross the road. Linking the local residential area with local destinations such as Ysgol Bae Baglan and National Cycle Route 4. Funding has been received and work is ongoing (expected to be completed by March 2024).

This project is looking at how the roads in the Sandfields area could be improved so that walking, cycling and wheeling are safer and more attractive options for short trips.

We have looked at eleven routes and identified possible improvements. These range from small scale changes, like providing dropped kerbs and tactile paving (textured paving to aid the visually impaired), to bolder ideas like creating new cycle tracks and pedestrian crossings.

In January and February 2024, we asked residents what they thought on the proposed upgrades. See the results of the survey.

The next stage is for us to look at specific routes in more detail. There will be another opportunity to have your say once more detailed designs have been drawn up of the routes.

Improvement to facilities

An access barrier is anything that restricts or prevents any users from accessing or travelling along walking and cycling paths.

Access barriers have historically been installed to stop motorbikes and mopeds from using paths illegally however they also prevent legitimate users (such as those with mobility aids or non-standard cycles) from walking, wheeling or cycling along the network. Barriers also affect people who are not able to get off their cycle to manoeuvre through or around them.

Since 2019 we have removed a total of 52 access barriers (see table below) in the county borough, making routes more accessible for everyone choosing to walk, wheel or cycle along them.

Financial year Number of barriers removed and replaced with compliant bollards (where required)
2019/2020 14
2020/2021 11
2021/2022 18
2022/2023 9

View a map of our barrier improvements under "Complaint barriers" and "Removed barriers"

If there are any other barriers you would like to see removed, please get in touch at We will assess the feasibility of altering these barriers.

Have you seen a motorbike or moped using Neath Port Talbot’s cycle paths illegally? If the answer is yes, then report it to South Wales Police

A bike can be costly and leaving it unattended makes it prone to theft or vandalism. Bike racks can help to provide a secure place for cycles while the rider is at their workplace, the shops or school. Installing cycle shelters could also encourage people to use bicycles as a means of transport. We have installed three cycle shelters in 2022/2023 in:

  • Aberavon Shopping Centre
  • Aberavon Beach
  • Port Talbot Train Station.

Cycle hoops also have been installed in Cymmer near to the Refreshment Rooms, to replace cycle storage which had fallen into disrepair.

Cycle shelter at Aberavon Shopping Centre

Free cycle stands

To help encourage more people to cycle, we are giving away up to four free cycle stands to organisations in locations where cycle parking is needed. More details and apply.

Securing your bike

Tips for locking your bike

  • Use two bike locks when possible
  • Always lock both the wheel and the frame together
  • Never only lock the wheel or the frame of the bike to the stand



In 2021 there were over 64,000 reported bike thefts in the UK. Having your bike stolen can be a huge inconvenience and very upsetting. But registering your bike means that if it's ever stolen and recovered by the police, it can be traced back to you. The BikeRegister is the UK’s national registration scheme. It's free, and it's preferred by the police as a way of registering your cycle.

Seating along walking and cycling routes can provide a much-needed place to rest. Outside of town centres there are generally fewer places to sit and have a break for those travelling between their homes and key destinations. So, we have started installing new seating alongside cycle routes in the county borough. In 2021-2022 eight new seats were installed. In 2022, a stakeholder consultation was undertaken to determine where additional seating is required. Proposed locations were evaluated, and seating was installed at three locations.

If there are any walking and cycling routes that you think need some seating, get in touch at We will assess the suitability.

Cycle storage and access barrier locations

See the cycle storage and cycle barrier locations we have mapped out:

This is not an exhaustive list. Email to tell us about any you notice are missing.

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