Wales

Celtic Manor's Ryder Cup bridge closure faces opposition

Gates closed on the Celtic Manor footbridge in Newport Image copyright Celtic Manor
Image caption Security gates have already been installed ahead of the request for permanent closure

A path through a south Wales resort used by cyclists, walkers and runners could be closed permanently.

Gates have been installed at either end of a £2m footbridge over the River Usk, opened by Newport's Celtic Manor in 2010 for the Ryder Cup golf tournament.

The path is permissive, meaning it is controlled by the resort, which said there had been "security incidents".

It has prompted a backlash from residents who have urged Newport City Council to reject the closure.

The path is the only way to cross the river between Usk Road and Bulmore Road without having to go through Caerleon village.

Celtic Manor said there had been 12 "security incidents" and people had gained unauthorised access in the past year, with a golf tournament suspended on one occasion due to disruption.

Image copyright Celtic Manor
Image caption The bridge has been a popular route for local people since it opened in 2010

Public safety concerns have also been raised given the path's proximity to a golf driving range, although objectors say this does not face the path.

Reports of antisocial behaviour have also been disputed, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Jason Hughes, who represents Caerleon on Newport City Council, said people were "bemused as to why such a popular amenity, which has been available for many years without incident, and provides benefit to hundreds of people and our community as a whole, has been so suddenly removed".

No legal agreement was signed which said the permissive route should always be kept available for the public, and in 2014 the Celtic Manor told the council it did not intend for the path to be dedicated as a public right of way.

A report by council officers for next week's planning committee said the bridge closure was "regrettable" but there was no robust reason to refuse the application.

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