FRESH calls have been made for a walking and cycling path along a “dangerous” Monmouthshire road after a cyclist was critically injured.
The man is in a stable condition but sustained “horrific injuries” after being found near the B4245 between Rogiet and Undy on Monday evening.
A safer route linking the villages has been mooted by Monmouthshire County Council for around 10 years, but funding issues have prevented any plans being formalised.
But campaigners are now urging the council and the Welsh Government to work together to bring forward plans to address the safety of vulnerable road users.
“I’m absolutely appalled about what has happened,” said Caldicot councillor Tony Easson.
“We have been trying for so long to get something done after many accidents, some serious, and now we’ve got another one.
“I’ve seen dashcam footage of two youngsters, no more than 10 years old, riding along that dangerous road and taking their lives in their own hands. It’s frightening.”
A study commissioned by the council reported 39 accidents along the seven-mile stretch, which includes Caldicot and Magor, between October 2012 and September 2017.
There were 59 casualties – seven of which were serious – with pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists accounting for 29 per cent of the total casualties.
But with accident rates “considerably lower” than the national averages for urban and rural B roads, the report only recommended more speed surveys between Caldicot and Magor.
At a council meeting in June, county councillors unanimously backed a motion by Cllr Easson calling for new road safety assessments to be made a priority.
Highways officers had prepared for a review but had to postpone until knowing the outcome of the Welsh Government’s decision on the proposed M4 relief road.
The scrapped motorway would have had a junction along the B4245 near Rogiet which thwarted the council’s bids for Welsh Government support.
Up to £70,000 has already been set aside by the council to pay for footpath and cycleway, but Cllr Lisa Dymock said Welsh Government support was vital in order to make progress.
The member for the Elms ward in Undy said: “I am concerned to hear of this latest incident involving the cyclist, and my thoughts and prayers are with this gentleman and his family.
“I’ve recently taken up cycling along the B4245 and it is petrifying, so I’m disappointed that the Welsh Government continues to reject requests for funding.”
Every year the Welsh Government allows local authorities to apply for funding to build walking and cycling infrastructure if they meet certain criteria.
A spokesman said: “Monmouthshire County Council have applied for funding to make improvements along the B4245 in recent years, but until now these applications have not met our criteria.
“The council can submit a bid for funding in the next financial year and we will be happy to look at any application.”
Anyone with information relating to Monday’s incident is asked to call Gwent Police 101 or contact them through Facebook or Twitter quoting log 470/ 05/0819.